Who invented Baozi?

Legend has it that baozi (the earlier kind without baking powder) were invented way back in the 3rd century A.D. by a Chinese military strategist, inventor and writer by the name of Zhuge Liang who lived during China’s famous “Three Kingdoms” period. As the story goes, Liang was engaged in a military campaign in southern China when his army was beset with a mass illness. Liang’s response was to fashion a giant dumpling made of pork and beef, shaped like a human head. It’s not exactly what I would have done, but then Liang was an unconventional thinker. He wrapped the head in wheat dough, steamed it and offered it as ritual sacrifice, after which he offered it to his men as a curative. Evidently it worked, and baozi (originally called montou or “flour head”) have been famous ever since.

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