Black Sea Sarma (Minced Ground Meat and Rice Wrapped in Vine Leaves) is one of the most known and most popular main course dish of Black Sea Cuisine.
Black Sea Sarma is a mixture of Minced Meat and Rice wrapped in vine leaves and stewed gently until ready. Sarma on the East Coast is called Tolma. At South-West Coast – Sarmi, at North-West – Sarmale and at North Coast in different areas it is called Golubtsi or Sarma or Dolma. Such a mix of names for the same dish create a lot of misunderstandings and often confuse foreign tourists.
Name of Sarma is derived from Turkish verb sarmak – to wrap and refer to wrapped dishes, whereas dolma is derived from the verb doldurmak – to fill and refer to dishes filled or stuffed with various fillings.
Black Sea Sarma is made with ground beef or mixture of ground beef and minced lamb meat, or with only lamb minced meat.
Vine leaves are used for wrapping as vineyards cultivation and winemaking has an ancient tradition at every shore of Our Lovely Sea. In most cases vine leaves used for Black Sea Sarma are salted or marinated in brine. Fresh vine leaves require parboiling and cutting into needed shape for wrapping.
Black Sea Sarma is stewed slowly until ready in the pot or pan in its own juice and served hot topped with dollop of sour cream or plain yoghurt