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ISO: tender grape leaves

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emerilcantcook Dec 4, 2008 05:23 PM

I've been craving some homemade dolmas, but having a hard time locating good quality grape leaves. Most of the commercial ones (eg: Krinos) have the tenderness of particleboard. Has anyone located good sources for tender/young ones, or better yet recommend me a locally available brand of pickled leaves in brine? Merci!

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  1. carswell RE: emerilcantcook Dec 4, 2008 06:40 PM

    Several years ago I bought a large jar of California vine leaves that were wonderful. Large, tender, supple, beautifully coloured, flavourful and less strongly brined than most. So they do exist and have been available in our fair city. Unfortunately, I can't remember where I bought them, though I'm pretty sure it was in the CDN area. Will keep an eye peeled.

    1. sksoze RE: emerilcantcook Dec 5, 2008 07:20 AM

      Maybe we can kill two birds with one stone?

      I was just about to make a post looking for Greek spice / seasoning. I suspect that if we want some quality, we can probably find the two at or near the same place.

      My whole life I've eaten hand made grape leaves. Greek, spicy Albanian off shoots (which are fantastic), etc. Until two weeks ago. I found a can of them in my friends house. A can. I didn't even know such a beast exists. I may have been spoiled all my life by my mothers and my grandmothers and their friends grape leaves, but regardless, I had a few drinks and was feeling brave, so I tried one from the can and ugh, I can only hope you are nowhere in the ballpark of those.

      I feel a personal duty to you to find you some proper grape leaves, and at the same time find me some proper Greek seasoning. I would think that with the Greek population here, either should not be hard. So let us join forces.

      But if worse comes to worse, I might have to track down the ingredients and give you a real recipe so you my friend, shall suffer no more.

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      Vagabond à la Carte : http://vagabondalacarte.wordpress.com

      2 Replies
      1. re: sksoze
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        emerilcantcook RE: sksoze Dec 5, 2008 07:46 AM

        Thanks for the kind offer. I'll be heading to Adonis and Marche Istanbul soon, and I'll look out for both items. Ironically Mourelatos downtown didn't have any leaves, and they were supposed to be Greek owned. Perhaps their larger branches are better stocked.

        Just to clarify though, I am not looking for stuffed leaves, just plain leaves to roll my own dolmas (and if I am lucky to find anchovies or sardines, to make sardine/anchovy stuffed grape leaves).

        1. re: emerilcantcook
          sksoze RE: emerilcantcook Dec 5, 2008 08:22 AM

          I see.

          I had misunderstood and thought you meant the stuffed leaves.

          If you ever get your hands on them, feel free to buy a bunch and freeze some for later. From what I've experienced, they freeze fairly well.

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          Vagabond à la Carte : http://vagabondalacarte.wordpress.com

      2. sksoze RE: emerilcantcook Dec 6, 2008 08:29 AM

        Ok. I've heard there might be some people who know where to get good grape leaves over in the Park X area.

        I looked into it and I can see why, considering it was once an area with a dense Greek population.

        I might be over that way today, if I am I'll take a detour to Park Extension and see if I can't shake any fellow Greeks down for the real goods.

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        Vagabond à la Carte : http://vagabondalacarte.wordpress.com

        1 Reply
        1. re: sksoze
          sksoze RE: sksoze Dec 9, 2008 05:51 AM

          I didn't get a chance to get out of the car in Park X, so I'm still searching.

          I'd think these things would be easier.

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          Vagabond à la Carte : http://vagabondalacarte.wordpress.com

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          emerilcantcook RE: emerilcantcook Dec 15, 2008 10:48 AM

          So I got a chance to check Adonis. Among all the best looking ones out of the jar were Yergat brand ones made in California. Half of the leaves out of the jar were pretty decent, while some very very tough and veiny. Still beats the cardboard style Krinos ones.

          1 Reply
          1. re: emerilcantcook
            sksoze RE: emerilcantcook Dec 16, 2008 06:32 PM

            I went to Adonis for the first time tonight. While I was there, I made a detour and scoped out grape leaves for you. They had a decent selection which I'm sure you saw, but I haven't gotten them packaged before so I can't recommend any.

            But, I did find at one of the fresh counters--this was at Adonis on Sauve O--they had some decent looking grape leaves near the nuts and olives. I didn't get a chance to actually try one, as I was only passing, but they looked better than those in the jar and you might want to give them a look the next time you're there.

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            Vagabond à la Carte : http://vagabondalacarte.wordpress.com

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