The cabbage rolls dish consists of cooked cabbage leaves wrapped around various fillings. The dish is not an uncommon sight amongst dinner tables. Somehow, one way or another throughout the course of history, most parts of the world have their own version of cabbage rolls.
Cabbage rolls are a common cuisine in Central, Eastern and Northen Europe, Armenia, Greece, Iran, Azerbaijan, Western Asia, and Northern China. The various fillings in the dish vary across continents. The dish is considered a humble, comfort food. Meat fillings such as beef, lamb or pork seasoned well with spices, garlic, and onion are a traditional treat in Europe.
Often, there are grains such as rice and barley, along with mushrooms and vegetables included. In Asia, seafood and meaty fillings are often used, and the Chinese cabbage is used to wrap up the fillings.
The dish can be baked, steamed, or simmered in a covered pot. It is served warm, accompanied by gravy and a wide selection of sauces.
Many countries have claimed to be the creator of the dish, like the Ukranian, Polish, Persian and Russians, etc. The cabbage is a subgroup of the mustard plant and is prevalent and native to the Mediterranean. Ancient Greeks and Romans knew of the existence of cabbage since 600 BC, so perhaps we should give the Greeks honour in the invention of cabbage rolls?
Nevertheless, it is believed that when it became a dish, many cultures of that century decided to do the same by adding their own version of fillings to the stuffed cabbage rolls and the modifications have made the dish their own.
Finland’s kaalikääryle is a variation of the dish that are browned before brazing. Sweden’s Charles XII was exiled to the middle east and brought it back to Scandinavia when he was able to return in the early 18th century.
Kaalikääryle is stuffed with rice and chopped meat within the cabbage leaves. A gravy accompanies the Scandinavian delight, and it is served with potatoes and sweet-sour lingonberry jam.
Similarly in the 18th century, Russian aristocrats travelled back and forth Europe, and they noticed that the French wrapped pigeon meat in cooked cabbage leaves and the dish golubtsy came to Russia. The dish was called golubtsy as ‘Golub’ is the Russian word for pigeon.
Jewish Thanksgiving often finds stuffed cabbage rolls present which is named holishkes, symbolising abundance.
Cabbage rolls may have appeared in different cuisines of varying cultures, but all are unique in their own way as the dish is given various treatments and sauces. Italians called their version rambasicci, a meatball-like filling of ground pork with occasional currants and pine nuts stuffed into cabbage leaves which are then served in broth and sprinkled with shredded cheese.
Give different Cabbage Roll a Try!
Since there are numerous choices of cabbage rolls, why not give each and everyone a try? Drop by diners offering European cuisine for a delightful treat of exquisite cabbage rolls. Don’t forget! You can order via foodpanda too!