Razel’s Easy Cabbage Rolls (Halapses)

From The Michaels Family Cookbook – Selected recipes by Bubby Razel & other family favourites. Read more about the cookbook here.

Note: The word halapse, which is what Razel always called her cabbage rolls, is probably a ‘yiddishization’ of the Ukrainian word for cabbage rolls, Holubtsi, or Golubtsy in Russia, which means ‘little pigeons’. There are countless variations on the cabbage roll from all across Europe, the Middle-East and beyond. Apparently many cultures thought it was a great idea to stuff cabbage leaves with meat or vegetables and rice, and we are glad they did!

Among European Jews, cabbage rolls were traditionally served on Simchat Torah, and according to food historian Gil Marks entered the Jewish cooking repertoire some 2000 years ago and varies from region to region. Razel’s recipe, with it’s Russian-Ukrainian origins, incorporates a sweet and sour sauce, while Romanian and Polish Jews prefer a savoury sauce.

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