Grape leaves

Grape leaves

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Encyclopedia
Grape
Vitis
Vitis is a genus of about 60 species of vining plants in the flowering plant family Vitaceae. The genus is made up of species predominantly from the Northern hemisphere. It is economically important as the source of grapes, both for direct consumption of the fruit and for fermentation to produce...

 leaves
Leaf
A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant, as defined in botanical terms, and in particular in plant morphology. Foliage is a mass noun that refers to leaves as a feature of plants....

are used in the cuisines of a number of cultures, including Turkish cuisine
Turkish cuisine
Turkish cuisine is largely the heritage of Ottoman cuisine, which can be described as a fusion and refinement of Central Asian, Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines. Turkish cuisine has in turn influenced those and other neighbouring cuisines, including that of western Europe...

, Greek cuisine, Bulgarian cuisine
Bulgarian cuisine
Bulgarian cuisine is a representative of the cuisine of Southeastern Europe. Essentially South Slavic, it shares characteristics with other Balkans cuisines...

, Arab cuisine
Arab cuisine
Arab cuisine is defined as the various regional cuisines spanning the Arab World, from Morocco and Tunisia to Saudi Arabia, and incorporating Levantine, Egyptian .-History:...

, Romanian cuisine
Romanian cuisine
Romanian cuisine is a diverse blend of different dishes from several traditions with which it has come into contact, but it also maintains its own character...

, and Vietnamese cuisine. They are most often picked fresh from the vine and stuffed with a mixture of rice
Rice
Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima . As a cereal grain, it is the most important staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and the West Indies...

, meat
Meat
Meat is animal flesh that is used as food. Most often, this means the skeletal muscle and associated fat and other tissues, but it may also describe other edible tissues such as organs and offal...

, and spice
Spice
A spice is a dried seed, fruit, root, bark, or vegetative substance used in nutritionally insignificant quantities as a food additive for flavor, color, or as a preservative that kills harmful bacteria or prevents their growth. It may be used to flavour a dish or to hide other flavours...

s, and then cooked by boiling or steaming. Stuffed grape leaves can be served as an appetizer or as a main dish.

In indigenous medicine, grape leaves were used to stop bleeding, inflammation, and pain.

Stuffed grape leaves are an Arab dish made with ground lamb and rice.

Commercial production


The leaves can also be sold in jars. Grape leaves from Erbaa
Erbaa
Erbaa is a town and a district of Tokat Province in the Black Sea region of Turkey.One km east-southeast of Erbaa is the archaeological site of Horoztepe. The mayor is Ahmet Yenihan ....

, Tokat
Tokat
Tokat is the capital city of Tokat Province of Turkey, at the mid Black Sea region of Anatolia. According to the 2009 census, the city of Tokat has a population of 129,879.-History:Tokat was established in the Hittite era....

 are famous and have significance in Kurdish and Turkish cuisine. Dolma
Dolma
Dolma is a family of stuffed vegetable dishes in the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire and surrounding regions such as Russia, Middle East and the Caucasus and Central and South Asia. Perhaps the best-known is the grape-leaf dolma. Common vegetables to stuff include onion, zucchini, eggplant,...

, sarma
Sarma (food)
Sarma is a dish of grape, cabbage or chard leaves rolled around a filling usually based on minced meat. It is found in the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire from the Middle East to the Balkans and Central Europe.-Etymology and names:...

 and Vietnamese luop
Luop
Lop is a dish consisting of Vietnamese beef in grape leaves....

 are some foods that incorporate grape leaves. In a jar, the grape leaves are usually packed in rolls in a brine
Brine
Brine is water, saturated or nearly saturated with salt .Brine is used to preserve vegetables, fruit, fish, and meat, in a process known as brining . Brine is also commonly used to age Halloumi and Feta cheeses, or for pickling foodstuffs, as a means of preserving them...

d solution. A jar of commercial grape leaves typically contains grape leaves, water, salt, citric acid
Citric acid
Citric acid is a weak organic acid. It is a natural preservative/conservative and is also used to add an acidic, or sour, taste to foods and soft drinks...

, sodium benzoate
Sodium benzoate
Sodium benzoate has the chemical formula NaC6H5CO2; it is a widely used food preservative, with E number E211. It is the sodium salt of benzoic acid and exists in this form when dissolved in water. It can be produced by reacting sodium hydroxide with benzoic acid.-Uses:Sodium benzoate is a...

, potassium sorbate
Potassium sorbate
Potassium sorbate is the potassium salt of sorbic acid, chemical formula C6H7KO2. Its primary use is as a food preservative . Potassium sorbate is effective in a variety of applications including food, wine, and personal care products....

, and sodium bisulfite
Sodium bisulfite
Sodium bisulfite is a chemical compound with the chemical formula NaHSO3. Sodium bisulfite is a food additive with E number E222. This salt of bisulfite can be prepared by bubbling sulfur dioxide in a solution of sodium carbonate in water...

 (for preservatives).