Stuffed cabbage is an Old World tradition. The cabbage rolls that we see more often than not hail from Eastern Europe. They’re the kind, like this recipe, that are covered in a tomato-based sauce. Did you know that in Sweden and Finland they use Lingonberry jam to cover their cabbage rolls? Did you know that in Egypt they rarely use meat in their stuffed cabbage? In Asia, cabbage rolls are a thing too! It’s thought that cabbage rolls started being a staple for Jews 2000 years ago. That’s a long history of cabbage rolls!
One thing that I found quite interesting is that in most places and cultures cabbage rolls are traditionally made with ground pork or a ground pork and ground beef mixture. Obviously, those of Jewish descent wouldn’t use pork. Beef would probably be the meat of choice. Lamb perhaps too. Jews from Galicia and Ukraine prefer a sweet and sour sauce over the more savory tomato sauce. If you’ve ever wondered about sweet and sour cabbage rolls, now you know a bit of history!
Can you tell that I’m a history nerd? I’m a total history nerd. Science is cool, but tell me what people did back in the day. I will love you forever!
These cabbage rolls come from a very (what we Americans consider) traditional recipes. It’s probably of Polish descent coming out of the Chicago area. Chicago once held claim to the largest Polish population outside of Poland. It’s going to be everything you remember from a grandmother making them. Delicious, warm, and creaming of the Old World.
Check out the recipe on the next page.