Dill was never important in my life. To me, it was just a little green herb that looked like seaweed. I knew that people put it in sandwiches, tuna, and dips, but my Shanghainese palate didn’t enjoy any of that. Other herbs like scallions were more important.
At the beginning of last summer, my mom took me to a tiny dumpling store near our house. One of the dishes she ordered was dumplings with a type of herb whose Chinese name I didn’t recognize. Everything about the first bite of that dumpling made sense. The herb was dill. I never realized that dill was used in Chinese cuisine until then, and I had only associated it with middle eastern dishes and American fast food, but now, I have learned something new about a culture close to mine. Being open to new experiences helped me learn more about my own food.