Tag Archives: Egg Rolls

What is an Egg Roll?

Egg Rolls

Egg Rolls

“In American Chinese cuisine, an Egg Roll is a savory dish typically served as an appetizer similar in concept to what is commonly known as Spring roll in Asia.” ~ Wikipedia

It’s made, using skins or sheets  filled with vegetables, ground pork and seasoning.  See this Recipe ~ quite tasty!

However, Egg Rolls in American Chinese restaurants is not from Asia, it was invented right on American soil. I ordered that many years ago, in an American Chinese restaurant, I knew it was going to be something different and I wasn’t going to guess.  (The thick wrapper-skin, is to me, like a mega wonton wrapper!)

So how did American Egg Roll get its name? Why not Spring Roll (春卷) which has existed in Chinese cuisine for centuries and got its name because it was a dish commonly eaten is Spring? (Winter is gone; it’s warming up so no need for hot soup & congee.)  So, why wasn’t this Roll in America just called Spring Roll? Was it because Chinese restaurants wanted it to be an Eaten-All-Year-Round Roll?

Or could it be a case of Lost in Translation between Chinese dialects and their 4 & 5 intonations? The word Wonton (馄饨 means Odd Dumpling) is pronounced “Wan~dan” in Cantonese and “Hun~tun” in Mandarin.  Egg  (蛋) is pronounced dàn in Mandarin but daan in Cantonese. So did the 2 dans get mixed up in Chinatown while the menus were being drawn up for print in English?  😀 Beats me!

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