Who invented cabbage rolls: the history of a popularly favorite dish

Stuffed cabbage rolls are a dish consisting of minced meat or vegetables with rice or buckwheat, wrapped in cabbage leaves. Stuffed cabbage rolls are popular in different cuisines of the world, but who invented them and when? Let’s figure it out.

origin of name
There are several versions of where the name “cabbage rolls” came from. One of them associates it with the shape of the dish, which resembles a dove. Another hypothesis states that the word cabbage roll comes from the Persian käläm, meaning cabbage. Another version says that cabbage rolls are “false pigeons,” that is, a cheap version of the French dish of pigeons fried on a grill, which was fashionable in the Russian Empire in the 18th century.

History of the dish
Historians believe that cabbage rolls originated in Eastern Europe under the influence of two cuisines – Tatar and Turkish. And this theory is not groundless: these peoples have a very similar dish called “dolma”.

This is rice and minced meat wrapped in grape leaves. Vegetable leaves are also often used. Lithuanian and Ukrainian chefs adapted dolma to their conditions, replacing grape leaves with cabbage leaves and lamb with pork. In Russian cookbooks of the 19th century, cabbage rolls were also called dolma or stuffed cabbage.Who invented cabbage rolls: the history of a popularly favorite dish

Varieties of cabbage rolls
In different countries and regions, cabbage rolls have their own characteristics. For example, in Greece and Azerbaijan they are called cabbage dolma and may contain raisins, nuts or mint sauce. In Germany and Poland they are called cabbage rolls and served with tomato sauce or sour cream. In China and Korea there is a similar dish of minced meat with rice https://greenelly.com/, wrapped in tea tree or lotus leaves. In addition to “regular” cabbage rolls, there are also lazy cabbage rolls, which do not require wrapping the minced meat in leaves.

How to cook cabbage rolls
Stuffed cabbage rolls can be prepared in several ways: in the oven, in a slow cooker, in the microwave, in a cauldron or in a frying pan. Each method has its own advantages and nuances. For example, in the oven the cabbage rolls turn out well-baked and appetizing, and in the slow cooker they turn out juicy and tender. In the microwave you can cook cabbage rolls quickly and without excess fat, and in a cauldron they will be aromatic and piquant. You can fry the cabbage rolls in a frying pan until golden brown and then simmer under the lid.