The Seattle Times - PEEK INTO a Chinese restaurant in the International District or South End on a weekend around noon and you're sure to spot lively groups crowding about large, round tables, calling for tasty treats from metal carts that clatter by. The Chinese custom of gathering with friends and family for a never-ending parade of dumplings and tea is called dim sum — literally meaning "to touch your heart." Centuries ago, Cantonese tea houses began popping up to nourish weary travelers and farmers. The tradition of yum cha, or "drinking tea," eventually came to include eating snacks, and dim sum was born. Today dim sum is served throughout China and all over the world.