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Plant diversity for sarma in Turkey: nature, garden and traditional cuisine in the modernity

Yunus Dogan, Anely Nedelcheva, Andrea Pieroni.

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.

Key words: Edible leaf; Ethnobotany; Sarma; Traditional knowledge; Turkey

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