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Kreplach, a special Jewish holiday dish that can be made essentially out of leftovers. Courtesy of Caren Alpert hide caption

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Courtesy of Caren Alpert

A Flock of Dumpling Ducklings: What's inside? Roasted Beijing duck, of course. Anthony Kuhn/NPR hide caption

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Anthony Kuhn/NPR

Even in Sandro Botticelli's painting The Birth of Venus, the goddess's belly resembles a plump, firm tortellino. Wikimedia.org hide caption

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A potsticker prepared by Chef Scott Drewno at the Washington, D.C., restaurant The Source. Heather Rousseau for NPR hide caption

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Heather Rousseau for NPR

In the Beginning, There Were ... Dumplings?

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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

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Daniel M.N. Turner/NPR