Did you know that in Spain, if you want Xiao Long Bao, you order up some “Bruce Lee”? (Well, “xiao long” in simplified Chinese can be misread as “little dragon” and Bruce Lee’s professional name was “Li Xiao Long” so…)
The link below delivers an interesting little treatise on the origins and the four main styles of XLB: Nanxiang, Wuxi, Changzhou and Nanjing. (For reference, Din Tai Fung serves the Nanjing Tang Bao style.)
It’s nicely illustrated, partially because of two photos by (ahem) me, one of the XLB at Fu Chun Xiaolong and the other of diners at Shang Wei Guan (mis-attributed to “culture trip”), both taken in Shanghai.
Unlike the sweetness of Wuxi, Changzhou Xiaocang is a savory route. And the crab yellow dumplings are characterized by “thin and transparent skin, rich marinade, craby nose, fat but not greasy, rich juice and fresh meat.” Those who will eat will choose to use vinaigrette and tender ginger to have a better flavor.
Is that how you understood the translation? Best I can come up with is “xiao long bao are closed at the top but Nanjing tang bao are closed up at the bottom [which I suppose amounts to the same thing] …however, nowadays some Nanjing Tang Bao are closed at the top.”
The photo above the text appears to be from a famous old shop in Nanjing, Yin Shi Tang Bao, and one reviewer commented “I heard that the traditional Nanjing soup bag closed down, it was said that the soup did not leak out, and it was said that the soup would not evaporate upwards, and then lost the delicious.” She went on to say that they could not bec onfused with XLB, and in the photo they do look more like steamed jiaozi.
I’ve never been to Nanjing, but the baozi served at Jia Jia Tang Bao, Nanjing Tang Bao and Din Tai Fung in Shanghai are all of the “modern” (pleated and closed at the top) style.