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Gołąbki! The history of Polish Stuffed Cabbage

Gołąbki! The history of Polish Stuffed Cabbage

Gołąbki! The history of Polish Stuffed Cabbage

“Gołąbki” that’s the Polish term for stuffed cabbage rolls. Though the word literally means “doves” it has become globally recognized as the name for one of Poland’s most well known dishes too. Curious how “gołąbki” made their way to Poland and how they got their odd name? Have a read below for a short history of this favorite Polish food! 

When a dish is exceptionally tasty, the word "traditional" will often appear in its recipe. That sort of terminology has great power because it can create some disagreement and competition among neighboring cultures who want to claim its authorship. In the case of cabbage rolls, the "production" of the dish may differ in ingredients among different cultures, but their delicious taste and uncomplicated cooking process can make any country that features them in its cuisine want to have them exclusively. So who, exactly, do we have to thank for the famous stuffed cabbage rolls? It is believed that credit is owed to the poorer inhabitants of Central and Eastern European countries. Due to the widespread cultivation of cabbage in these regions, it is likely that the cultures who inhabited them are the original “inventors” of this favorite dish. Though the production of the stuffed cabbage roll is very similar from culture to culture the ingredients of the stuffing and variety of cabbage leaf used can vary. 

The history of Polish gołąbki begins in the nineteenth century with the arrival of Ukrainian “hołubci.” The Ukrainian name probably comes from the fact that in Slavic languages, the names of animals and birds were often used to name breads and ritual dishes. The borderland dish was so well received by Poles that it soon settled in Polish cuisine for good. Today, Poles mention “gołąbki” in one breath, next to bigos, pierogi and red borscht, as a traditional national dish that is enjoyed both for special occasions and everyday dinners. 

Poland’s gołąbki were originally stuffed with a blend of buckwheat and potatoes but modern versions can include rice and mushroom, grains & forest mushroom or ground meat. They are baked or simmered in a flavorful broth and typically topped with a creamy mushroom or tomato sauce. Not only mouthwateringly delicious, gołąbki are also low calorie and quite nutritious! 

If you’ve ever had Poland’s version of stuffed cabbage rolls you know why they continue to be loved and recognized as one of Poland’s best foods! …and if you want to enjoy their taste (or give them a try for the first time!) we invite you over to our Frozen Foods section to shop our wide variety of classic Polish gołąbki. Have them ordered right to your door anywhere in the U.S. from! Simply follow our simple reheating instructions to enjoy their homemade taste!

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