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Our annual food issue is here!

The pandemic revealed just how connected we are as citizens of the world. Few corners of the earth escaped the deadly COVID-19 virus and nations worked in tandem to contain it. In many ways, it proved that we’re more similar than we are different. This got us thinking about how much we share when it comes to food.

“If you put a human in a room with some kind of substance and flour and water, eventually that human will exit with a dumpling, a ravioli, a samosa, an empanada, or a pierogi,” says Zofia’s Kitchen chef and co-owner Ed Hardy. He specializes in clever flavors of pierogi and believes you can travel anywhere and find filled dough. “Any culture that’s trying to claim that it’s theirs can’t really do that because it was bound to happen anyway. It was inevitable. Humans love dough-covered items. It’s a primal urge.”

Thinking about people from all over indulging in bowls of dumplings or plates of pastelillos is comforting and unifying at a time when we need more togetherness. Adding to the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes with eating filled dough snacks is the fact that most of these treasures are made by hand, often with a little love baked in. Thanks to the D.C. region’s extensive culinary offerings from across the globe, you can try myriad filled dough dishes like lumpia, sambusas, cherry vareniki, and ma la wontons. We only wish we had room for more, both in our bellies and in this issue. While the items featured aren’t the only exemplary offerings in their categories, this collection shows the breadth of options in the region.

Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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