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Dumplings in NYC: Tasting Brooklyn’s best bites from around the world

Freezers here are stocked with 12- and 36-count boxes of ravioli with all kinds of flavored fillings: mushroom, lobster, Gorgonzola and walnuts, butternut squash. If you’re lucky, you’ll find some behind the prepared foods counter on the day you visit, too.

What makes the Ajello family recipe so special?

It’s the cheese filling that makes theirs “the smoothest, creamiest, most delicious ravioli I’ve eaten in my life,” says cashier and longtime Bensonhurst resident Cathy Annarumma. Customers “come in from New Jersey, they come in from Long Island. They want the stuff shipped. It’s crazy.”

7425 New Utrecht Ave., 800-457-2786, pastosa.com

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Photo Credit: Nicole Levy

Every culture worth its salt has a dumpling.

At least, they do in the way we loosely define the word — a pocket of dough stuffed with a sweet or savory filling.

In New York City, where ethnic neighborhoods are the spices that season this gloriously multicultural city, dumplings come in an astounding variety of forms: they can be stuffed with meat, veggies, cheese and even noodles; they can be wrapped in dough made with wheat or corn flour, and shaped into half-moons, purses and pyramids; they can be pan-fried, deep-fried, boiled and steamed.

But every single kind — from the Chinese xiaolongbao to the Mexican tamale to the Jewish knish — offers comfort in each bite. (And, needless to say, a cheap, carb-tastic option for snacking.)

We plan to travel across the city in search of some of the tastiest dumplings from all corners of the world, but we’re starting our epic quest in Brooklyn. Here are our delicious (at least we think so) picks for the trendsetting borough :

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