Christmas dish: Sarmale

As far back as I remember, we’ve always had sarmale for Christmas. Sarmale [sahr-mah-lay] is usually translated as cabbage rolls; can also be done with vine leaves. Its origins are in the Middle East, was brought to the Balkans by the Ottoman Empire, and is now widely spread across the region.

There’s some research saying that humans develop preference for the tastes you grow up with, making mom’s cooking remain the best for your entire life. That (and the fact that my mom makes the best sarmale in the world) explains why my mom’s are the best sarmale in the world.

For a loong dark cozy Christmas evening, here is a sarmale recipe, in two variants:

  • this one is for people using the metric system (for whom notions like miles, pounds, feet, inches are mysterious and so meaninglessly exact that you always have to approximate)
  • and this one is for those who do not understand what simplistic notions like meter, gram or kilogram have to do with real life.

Serve with sour cream. Enjoy.

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