The finished dumplings, properly fried to a light crisp. The half-moon shape was meant to resemble ancient Chinese currency. Eating the dumplings was believed to bring fortune and prosperity. Daniel M.N. Turner/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Daniel M.N. Turner/NPR

"Jung is a portable meal, wrapped in bamboo leaves," says Jidan Koon. She and her now-husband, Bryant Terry, created their own multicultural version of the traditional dish when they got engaged. iStockphoto.com hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto.com

If you can't find pennette, use the small bulging crescents that are chifferi, or regular elbow macaroni, instead. Courtesy Random House hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy Random House

Mole is a complex sauce that marries chocolate with chilies, onion, garlic, spices, nuts and seeds and dried fruits. But it's just one of many ways to break chocolate out of the candy box. Peter Ogburn for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Peter Ogburn for NPR

Presilla's Ecuadorian Spicy Onion and Tamarillo Salsa, made right in David Greene's kitchen. Selena Simmons-Duffin/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Selena Simmons-Duffin/NPR