That's a wrap on 2022 (and: some news!)
Take a look back at this year's Above the Fold + help me make some decisions about the future.
December is a great month for dumplings. This year I didn’t get to dig into that as much as I’d hoped, but thankfully, there’s no shortage of great stories and things to learn elsewhere. So instead, I direct you to Gab Chabrán’s account of family tamaladas (and tamale variations you can drool over, all across the Los Angeles area) and Meryl Feinstein of’s clever hybrid of two holiday traditions—fried foods for Hanukkah and stuffed pasta en brodo in Italy—in the form of fried onion-potato stuffed kreplach en brodo (!!).
Then, learn about Anna Voloshyna’s borshch z vushkamy, or tiny mushroom dumplings floating in borscht—a Ukrainian Christmas tradition she recently shared with SFGate—as well as tangyuan, a staple of Winter Solstice, or Dongzhi, in China and Taiwan (check out Betty Liu’s book My Shanghai for three recipes as well as this video of charming little pig-shaped tangyuan made by Meiji Mantou, a must-follow bakery in Taiwan).
Finally, join me in ogling this dumpling wreath, made by food blogger and culinary instructor Christine Wong:
The above list is a mere tease of the many celebratory dumplings consumed around the world during this time of year—a snapshot of something I plan to expand upon next year, via a new and different iteration of Above the Fold.
Which brings me to some major changes on the horizon: Above the Fold is going paid and going print. I’m going to explain what that means in much more detail in January, but the short version is: The free email isn’t going anywhere, but I will be turning on the option for financial reader support and transitioning Above the Fold into a print-first model where issues (filled with interviews, essays, guides, and more) “launch” via limited-edition drops of print zines first, followed by a gradual rollout via email. How exactly that will all be structured is being finalized, which is where the below poll comes in. Please take 5 seconds to let me know which—if any—paid formats you’d be interested in. Word count on the poll is very limited, so here’s what these options mean:
Email sub. = Paying a monthly rate (likely $5) to support Above the Fold, with annual rates coming with bonus freebies (like prints)
Email sub. + print zine/prints = You’d be interested in the above and in paying for a print publication and other fun things (like prints, postcards, and more)
Print zine/prints only = You’re not interested in paying for the email, but you’d be interested in purchasing zines/prints separately when they’re available
Nothing = Business as usual (No hard feelings! I’d rather know that now, as it will help me make some pragmatic decisions)
I’ll share more details on Above the Fold 2.0 in early 2023. Until then, a massive thank you to subscribers both old and new for reading along. Now, let’s revisit the past year together, shall we?
Interview #13: Cathay Bi shared the story behind SF’s Dumpling Club
Interview #14: Anna Voloshyna shared the formative dumplings of her Ukrainian heritage (which you can find in her new cookbook, BUDMO!)
Interview #15: Dave Hadley discussed the Indian, West Indian, and New Jersey influences on his Denver-based samosa biz:
Interview #17: Graeme and Caitlin Miller discussed the creative knish business they operate out of Portland, Maine
Interview #18: Zuza Zak talked about the process of creating her new Polish dumpling cookbook, Pierogi
Interview #19: Frankie Gaw shared his very personal, very aesthetically pleasing approach to dumpling-making
Interview #20: John Welch explained how he went from hand-carving spoons and cutting boards to designing intricate ravioli molds
Above the Fold was created by Leah Mennies. Logo + dumpling icons by Claudia Mak.
Interview subjects are paid an honorarium for taking the time to share their knowledge and experience.