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Do you remember the first food you fell in love with? I'm not talking about foods you ate all the time because you were a little one—looking at you, Cheerios—but that special item that made you excited to eat. The kind of food that you would happily give up time playing Nintendo to sit down and enjoy. 

For me, it was dumplings. To get more specific, it was the pot stickers from China Village in Walnut Creek, California. I was only 2 or 3 when my parents first let me try them and from that day forward I have been a fanatic. There were so many things that transfixed me: the perfectly seared skin, the way the ginger stung my mouth with each bite, the excitement of looking at all the dumplings lined up together on the plate and trying to choose which one would be mine. 

From that point on I was open to any sort of food that could be described as a dumpling. Luckily for me, dumplings exist across so many different food cultures. Whether it be perogies, soup dumplings, chicken and dumplings, ravioli or gyoza, if it's a dumpling I'm going to be eating it. 

I vividly remember the first time I had a soup dumpling, and given how terrifying the experience was, it's a miracle it didn't end my love affair with dumplings. I was on a first date and I was already incredibly nervous. We decided to order a plate of soup dumplings to share. I knew going in that I was going to have to find a delicate way to manage this without making an ass of myself. I bit into the first one as delicately as I possibly could and was treated to scalding hot soup squirting deep into my mouth, burning both my tongue and the roof of my mouth in the process. 

I tried to play it cool and hold all of the pain I was experiencing on the inside. Whether or not I pulled this off is a matter of debate [I did not], but thankfully there wasn't too much laughter at my expense. Despite the skin just beginning to bubble from the roof of my mouth, I was undeterred and I dove into a second dumpling. This time I had it all figured out, or so I thought. My primary goal was to avoid having the soup scald me, which I accomplished, but I ended up inflicting a horror far more damaging to my ego than the previous injury to my mouth. A perfect line of steaming hot soup shot out from the side of the dumpling, across the table and landing perfectly all over my date's white blouse. Long story short, there was not a second date. 

I did eventually figure out the secret to consuming soup dumplings in a safe manner, although we still have the occasional spray of soup, but these days it tends to stay aimed at my own clothing, which is far less embarrassing. 

Even though I've experienced adversity with the little guys, I love dumplings to my very core. And so do the people who have chosen to get dumpling tattoos. Check out this gallery of some of our favorite dumpling tattoos and try not to get too hungry.