THE DIVERSITY OF PLANTS USED FOR THE TRADITIONAL DISH SARMA IN TURKEY: NATURE, GARDEN AND TRADITIONAL CUISINE IN THE MODERN ERA

  • Yunus Dogan Buca Faculty of Education, Dokuz Eylul University, 35150 Buca, Izmir, Turkey
  • Anely Nedelcheva Department of Botany, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, 1164 Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Andrea Pieroni University of Gastronomic Sciences, 12060 Bra/Pollenzo, Italy

Abstract

The selection of leaves for sarma is the result of human experience and observation, and the transmission of traditional knowledge in areas with different species richness. Seventy-three taxa whose leaves are used to prepare sarma in Turkey are reported. The prevalent species are from Rumex (11), Salvia (5), Beta and Malva, (4), Alcea, Arum, Brassica, Morus, and Plantago (3). Wild herbaceous plants (69.5%) dominate. Trees (8) and shrubs (2) mostly belong to the Rosaceae, Moraceae, Betulaceae and Malvaceae. Grapevine and cabbage predominate, together with beet, dock, sorrel, horseradish, lime tree, bean, and spinach. The use of leaves of three endemics was recorded: Centaurea haradjianii, Rumex gracilescens, and Rumex olympicus. Some toxic plants are used after preliminary treatment, including those of Arum, Convolvulus, Tussilago and Smilax species. Colocasia esculenta is a novel sarma plant that has been involved to the cuisine in the last decade, following its introduction into Turkey.

Keywords: Edible leaf, Ethnobotany, Sarma, Traditional knowledge, Turkey
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