Seasonal Regional Foods – Dolmades
Foods from around the world tend to reflect the regional nature of the climate, geography and in deed the residents and their culture. Some of the now world famous gourmet foods originated in small rural villiages throughout Europe. At Toms Waterhole wines in Canowindra, in the beautiful Belubula Valley we continue to look for local foods to match our wines. To this end the vine leaves are large and tender after all the recent rain so that leads us to turn our hands to making Dolmades.
I refer to Wikipedia for a definition….
Dolma is a family of stuffed vegetable dishes in the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire and surrounding regions such as Russia, Middle East and the Caucasus and Central and South Asia. Perhaps the best-known is the grape-leaf dolma. Common vegetables to stuff include onion, zucchini, eggplant, tomato and pepper. The stuffing may or may not include meat. Meat dolma are generally served warm, often with sauce; meatless ones are generally served cold, though meatless dolma are eaten both ways in Iran. Both are often eaten with yogurt. The filling generally consists of rice, minced meat or grain. In either case, the filling includes onion, parsley, herbs and spices. Meatless fillings are cooked with olive oil and include raisins or currants, onion, nuts or pulses.
Dolma is a verbal noun of the Turkish verb dolmak, ‘to be stuffed’, and means ‘stuffed thing’.
Dolma is a stuffed vegetable, that is, a vegetable that is hollowed out and filled with stuffing. This applies to courgette, tomato, pepper, eggplant, and the like; stuffed mackerel, squid, and mussel are also called dolma. Dishes involving wrapping leaves such as vine leaves or cabbage leaves around a filling are called sarma though in many languages, the distinction is usually not made. Sarma is derived from the Turkish verb sarmak which means ‘to wrap’. Other variants derive from the Turkish word for ‘leaf’, yaprak.
Anyway back to Canowindra we think it will make an interesting experiment to see if our Dolmades taste any different wrapped in Chardonnay, Shiraz or Sangiovese leaves.
Is anyone else game to join the experiment???