Calling all cabbage lovers to Varazdin County, as the 21st Zeljarijada kicks off in Vidovec on September 20, 2018 – ever wondered what ingredients go into the world’s longest sarma?
Wherever I travel in this beautiful land, there is always a local speciality of whichthe locals are proud, and the diversity of Croatian cuisine is truly impressive. Coming to Varazdin, I knew all about the pumpkin oil and mlinci (although vanilla ice cream and pumpkin oil was a true discovery – sensational, please try it), but I had not realised just how important cabbage was in the way of life here.
For Varazdin has its own particular type of cabbage, which is protected. I was then even more excited to learn that there was only one woman who was authorised to sell the seeds of the protected cabbage, and it was a fascinating discussion with Marija when we met a few years ago in the village of Vidovec at the annual Zeljarijada cabbage festival.
And this was no ordinary cabbage festival. When I was there, the culinary highlight was the longest sarma in the world, an astonishing 1.2 kilometres long, which took quite some preparation. Last year’s event broke all records, with the sarma lining up to an impressive 1.32 km in total.
So what ingredients go into such a huge dish, how many people are required to prepare it, and when should you start cooking?
1,200 heads of sour Varazdin cabbage, 22,000 leaves of cabbage
2kg of sweet pepper
300kg of boneless beef from neck and shoulder
410kg of boneless pork from neck and shoulder
0.75kg of bayleaves
55kg of bacon
4.5kg of fresh garlic
75kg dried ribs
25kg of flour
75kg of dried sausages
40 litres of oil
105kg of rice
200 litres of Studena
50kg of friend paprika
24kg of tomato concentrate 1/1
70kg red onion
2kg ground pepper
Sarma preparation through the night requires 50 cooks and students. In addition to the sarma,
350kg of mashed potatoes for Saturday, 150kg for Sunday.
Timeframe od preparation:
The preparation of the cabbage leaves starts at 09:00 on Thursday
Peeling of onions and garlic
Braising of 4kg of dry hamburger and onion
Cut the sausage, ribs and hamburger
Keep an eye on the cabbage
Make the sarma
Prepare roux with 25kg of oil and 25kg of flour
This year’s Zeljarijada opens in the evening of September 20 and runs all through the weekend to September 23. it is a fun day out for all the family, a chance to see natural Croatia at its very best. And if you are a fan of sarma, why not drop by and have a taste of the longest sarma in the world?