It is believed that cabbage rolls appeared quite recently, in the 18-19 centuries. During this period, Russian cuisine was greatly influenced by French cuisine. In particular, a dish of pigeons, whole roasted on a wire rack, is becoming popular. The dish was called artlessly - "pigeons". As if at the same time they began to fry "false pigeons" - cabbage leaves filled with minced meat.
You ask: But what about dumplings? Meat with millet wrapped in cabbage leaves? It was still under Peter! Russian language expert Vladimir Dal puts an equal sign between galush and cabbage rolls in his dictionary. And the French fried not only pigeons, but also quails, and the name of the dish was getting stronger.
The origin of the word "cabbage rolls" from the German "Kohlblatt" - "cabbage leaf" - was rejected by the compilers of dictionaries in the century before last. Rather, the Serbo-Croatian golubi, that is, dumpling, is suitable.
Everything becomes more complicated if we remember about the Turkish sarma. Which, in turn, is close to dolma - grape leaves stuffed with meat and rice. In Turkey, the supposed homeland of cabbage rolls, the dish is called sarma (from the verb sarmak - to wrap) and close to another dish - dolma (rice and, often, meat, wrapped in grape leaves). Only after leaving the Islamic country, cabbage rolls have changed a lot: instead of grape leaves, cabbage, instead of lamb, pork, instead of rice, buckwheat.
There are cabbage rolls and Greece. In modern Greek, they are simply called "cabbage dolma", as if confirming the right to invent the dish by the Turks. But the Greeks (though not modern, but the ancients) can be considered the full-fledged inventors of cabbage rolls. The first mention of them sounded in the comedy of Aristophanes (the creator of the genre, by the way!), Where one of the heroes exclaims: "Bring me cabbage leaves with pork!" The work dates back to 425 BC.
Alas, the Greeks are not the first. After all, everything is being done and done in China! The inhabitants of the Celestial Empire will tell you a story about a clumsy scientist who fell into a river 2, 000 years ago. There were predatory fish in the river, and the students feared that they would eat the teacher. Then the smart young men wrapped the rice in cabbage leaves and threw it into the water. And one "student" decided to try a new dish himself and highly appreciated its taste. Considering that if you wrap a lump of rice with a thin strip of cabbage leaf across, then the ancestor of sushi (or sushi?) Will come out, it turns out that sushi and cabbage rolls are practically relatives.
It turns out that in different eras on different continents a simple culinary solution appeared: to wrap a little boiled grain and chopped (later stuffed) meat in a large sheet or stuff it into a vegetable. They called it differently, but the essence was the same.
But that's not all! Did you know that nettle or horseradish leaves keep meat fresh for two to three days, even in summer? Our cave ancestors may well have used large plant leaves in order to preserve food debris. It turns out that historically cabbage rolls could have arisen not as food, but in order to preserve food, and each nation wrapped the product around. what he had at hand - some with grapes, some with cabbage, and some with algae.