Gołąbki are a form of cabbage rolls. They are a traditional Polish dish made from lightly boiled cabbage leaves, which are wrapped in a parcel-like manner around minced pork or beef meat, chopped onions and/or rice or barley; baked in a casserole dish in a tomato sauce.
Gołąbki is the plural of gołąbek, the diminutive of gołąb, meaning "pigeon". This refers to the shape of the roll; none of the ingredients have any connection with the pigeon meat known as squab.
Gołąbki are also referred to as golumpki, golabki, golumpkies or golumpkis. Similar Eastern European cabbage roll variations are called: holubky (Slovak), töltött káposzta (Hungarian), holubtsi (Ukrainian), golubtsy (Russian), balandėliai (Lithuanian), kohlrouladen (German) or sarma (Turkish loan-word, now commonly applied to some Southern Slavic versions of this dish, particularly in the Carpathian and Balkan regions.) Slovak immigrants to America called this dish "pigs in a blanket" or halupki. In Jewish cuisine this dish is known as "holishkes" (a Yiddish word), originating in Eastern Europe, the traditional Jewish cabbage roll dish, served at Sukkot.
Gołąbki rolls are usually fist-sized when fully stuffed or rolled. Spiced pork is sometimes used instead of, or in addition to, beef.
There is an unverified story or myth that the Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Poland Casimir IV Jagiellon fed his army with gołąbki before a key battle of the Thirteen Years' War outside of Marienburg Castle (Malbork) against the Teutonic Order around 1465. Polish rumor has it, that victory over the Teutonic Order was partially credited to strength of the hearty meal of gołąbki given to the allied Polish and Prussian troops. The castle was not conquered, though, but turned over later.
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How to Make Polish Stuffed Cabbage Rolls - Golabki, easteuropeanfood.about.com