Barbara Baltzidou grew up in the kitchens and cooking in the family tavern she ran in Krinides, Kavala, from 1967 to 2004, a familiar haunt for many of us, the tavern of Mr. Ilias in the area of cold waters mountain springs. So it was not surprising, that the 2014 she decided to deal with the preparation of a beloved traditional food, sarma, following her own recipe, the secrets of which she does not reveal to anyone.
Barbara’s recipe is special and worked to the last detail. First the selection of the tender vine leaves, in combination with the well-boiled rice, the herbs (the spring onion and the aromatic dill from her garden), the execution of all this with mastery, so that all her ingredients converse and do not get lost, to not trample on each other, and then her amazing wrapping (always by hand) gave us these distinct sarmadakis that smell of Macedonian vegetable and garden aromas, with the lemon reminding its presence subtly.
I personally love them, I consider them a main meal mainly during Lent, but they are placed on our table every season. When they come, always fresh and delicious, I do not want to have many dishes on my table, just a salad and a glass of stoupakiouzo from Chios.
Barbara’s Sarma was recently awarded a star by the “Athens Fine Food Awards 2022” committee of EXPOTROF. This committee was made up of important food, catering and trade professionals with prestige and experience in product evaluation. Among them are renowned chefs such as Adam Kontovas, Tasos Mantis, Yiannis Parikos, Stavriani Zervakakou et al.
Barbara’s Sarma can be found in 10 points of sale in Kavala, as well as in selected delicatessen stores throughout Macedonia and Thrace, Athens, Piraeus and Thessaloniki. The cottage industry is located in Krinides, Municipality of Kavala.