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First ever world dumpling championships launched in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 12:00 28 February 2019

Preparing for the World Dumpling Championships.  Picture: Nick Butcher

Preparing for the World Dumpling Championships. Picture: Nick Butcher

© Nick Butcher Photography

It's sink or swim for dumpling cooks as a fun dumpling-cooking contest comes to Norfolk.

Did you know Norfolk is famous for its dumplings?

Next month the first World Dumpling Championships will be held in Norwich – and everyone is invited.

Whether you make dumplings with flour and water, or suet and yeast; whether you prefer savoury dumplings with stew or sweet dumplings with chocolate, this is the ultimate dumpling destination.

The competition was dreamed up by Eve Stebbing, long-time champion of the humble dumpling.

A morning contest for amateur cooks will be followed by an afternoon of professional cooks pitting their dumplings against each other. There will also be dumpling-related games, crafts and stories for children.

Eve explained: “There’s a wealth of stories, history and know-how attached to the Norfolk dumpling. So it seems only fitting that the first World Dumpling Championships should be held here in Norwich.

“Although this is a competition, the focus of the day is one of celebration. The dumpling is a taste of home, wherever you come from. This is a chance for people to come together around the cooking pot, tell their tales and share their knowledge and expertise. But of course, no cook will be expected to reveal their secrets!”

Eve hopes the panel of judges will be wowed by recipes from around the world.

People with recipes from around the world are invited to wow a panel of judges with their dumplings. From simple flour and water to dough-balls with suet, oil and yeast; from delicacies doused in stew to doughty spheres drizzled with syrup; dumplings steamed, boiled or even fried – all are welcome.

And what is Eve’s dream dumpling? “A cheesy dumpling made with Mrs Temple’s Norfolk Alpine cheese, herbs from my mum’s garden and flour from Letheringsett Mill.”

The competition is being run by Spin-Off Theatre, set up by Eve 22 years ago to collect and perform Norfolk stories and dialect. After coming across lots of tales of Norfolk dumplings, Eve began making her own and soon found they were a huge tummy-filling hit with her family.

Her sons, aged two and five, particularly love chocolate dumplings. “Having these two little boys who are always hungry, Norfolk dumplings are a great idea!” said Eve. She serves them as a snack, a starter, with a dinner, or as a pudding with butter, syrup or fruit – and has a dumpling stall selling both sweet and savoury delicacies at Norwich Farmers’ Market in Costessey.

Last July Eve held a dumpling day for under-fives, with dumpling-related games, crafts and stories, as part of Norfolk Day.

The first World Dumpling Championship will be held at The Sanctuary, St Thomas Grove Walk, Norwich, on Saturday, March 30.

Anyone interested in taking part should contact Spin-Off Theatre

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