22-III-2012 04:07:43

A dish of Turkish origins. It's a mix of rice and ground meat with ground black pepper, rolled in a leaf of sour cabbage, taco style. Usually made in larger quantities, in a big pot, with zaprška, and eaten over a few days. Given the size of cabbage here (like a soccer ball, if not basketball), one sarma is food enough for one's lunch. One can find even larger cabbage - there's an urban legend that a whole train of Futog cabbage was returned from Slovenia, because the heads were too large, that can't be right. Futog is a special place, where the whole village grows cabbage, and heads of 30 cm in diameter are normal.

There seems to be some fermentation still going on after it's cooked, because everyone (me included) says that sarma is the best the third day. The opinions differ on whether only the daily portion should be reheated or all of it. Recently I've heard that the proper heavenly taste comes when it's reheated the ninth time on tenth day...

It's a matter of nostalgia among the expats and emigrees, so if you see someone in your country hauling twenty heads of cabbage in a cart, you can bet it's an ex-Yugo with a sarma in their future.