A small, stuffed Chinese pastry usually served as an appetizer. Paper-thin pastry wrappers are folded around a savory filling of minced or shredded vegetables and sometimes meat, then folded and rolled before being deep-fried or sometimes, steamed. Egg roll skins (the pastry wrappers) are available in the refrigerator section of Asian markets and most supermarkets. Spring rolls, so named because they're traditionally served on the first day of the Chinese New Year (in early spring), are smaller, more delicate versions of the egg roll.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.