Grandson, I apologize for not getting back to you! To be honest, I got tired of talking about your infantile and loser’s politics. And when I see how the bots tear you apart like rabid dogs for your political views, it’s probably better that we don’t meet. So, I’m on a journey towards Macedonia’s future in the EU. I stopped in Sviripichino just to try the sarma of your Head Chef, or as they call him in New Macedonia, the Chef, about whom there is talk from the Flaming Land to Vladivostok. To be more specific, from Podmochani in the west to Podrzikonj in the east, and from Konjsko in the south to Kuchkovo in the north.
Grandson, I was left speechless when they brought me the sarma, especially since it was garnished with “Boiled Frog in Macedonian Style” and a glass of sparkling white French wine (from the Demirkapishte vineyard). Because, as I was informed at the tavern, the Chef hadn’t revealed the recipe to anyone. In secrecy, with a few loyal assistants, he prepared it in the modern kitchen of “White Chalice,” equipped by another Chef, the predecessor of the current Head Chef, who went on a specialization for “Hungarian paprikash.”
I will try, with the help of “reverse engineering,” to uncover the recipe. The first thing that “caught my eye” was the sauce in which the two sarma were placed; it somehow reminded me a lot of “Borscht” or “Serbian fiery porridge.” A somewhat forced mix. Clearly, the Chef had tried to cover up the sauce with a few scattered yellow spoonfuls of “demagoguery,” but he didn’t succeed much.
The first spoonful, Grandson, reveals a taste of uncreative “bots” and a scent of too many “haters.” Generally, throughout the entire meal, these flavors and scents dominate. Apparently, the Chef, in between each phase of preparing the sarma, used “spew bots” and “platefuls of haters” from various provinces. That’s my observation, but still, we’re talking about tastes, and isn’t there a saying about them?
Besides this, the sauce itself is a cacophony of scents and flavors! Obviously, the sarma was not prepared in our Macedonian clay pots; instead, “Zepter” pots with a double bottom were used. It’s possible that the Chef was afraid of the shallow bottom of the clay pot, so he used a double-bottomed one to avoid burning. Well, that’s a matter of choice!
I expected to taste the aroma and flavor of our Macedonian flavors, but that was missing, perhaps why there’s so much talk about this sarma. Honestly, I had hoped that “reverse engineering” would quickly help me uncover the recipe; without the Macedonian gene in me, it would have been very difficult. Now I understand why Europeans can’t understand you. How can a nation that has given such colossal figures to the world’s civilization (idiotic) heritage like Mickoski, Zaev, Branko, Gruevski, Ljubcho…
Essentially, the sauce was based on “Russian salad,” covered with numerous additional spices to mask its taste. However, the white spoonful’s of “defeatism” always surfaced when you filled the spoon. From the very roux, a handful of “corruption” is thrown, not its aroma. The Chef tried to smother it with “flambéed Yugoslav nostalgia” and poured in “sour communist ideology.” Throughout the sauce, several dumplings of “oligarchic ethics” are scattered, whose taste is greatly complemented by the undercooked pieces of “freshly perverted leadership morals.” Somehow, it wasn’t to my taste, but in the mouth, there remains the salty taste of “unrefined coarse Greek salt.” When you add to this the aroma of the chubrika, you’re left wondering whether you’re eating sarma or “Bulgarian kebap.” The taste of the freshly cut “cynicism” complements well with the dried-up “supremacism” and “chauvinism,” obviously past their expiration date. Finely diced cubes of “profitability” sprinkled with a handful of “floating populism,” obviously fried to caramelization in burnt despair, gave a beautiful old gold color.
The sarmas, Grandson, were a “story unto themselves.” They looked fantastic, wrapped in a specific way, giving the impression of a five-pointed star. From the very first touch, it was evident that the Chef used cabbage from a jackdaw that had already caught mold before throwing the scattered onions. The leaves were very soft. Here, perhaps, the Chef was thinking of the special aroma of scents that appears “post-festum” after finishing the meal. Each sarma is cooked in brine, but here the Chef outdid himself, using brine from an “idiotocracy” that particularly intensifies the smell of internal gases. The Chef is a rascal; he comes up with witty street jokes, teasing the internal organs of his followers – the consumers. This thing with the gases, the farting, as he calls it, the “melodious echo of the internal organs,” is truly unique. An iron stomach is needed to digest his sarma.
The leaves of the sarma had a particular “flair” because from the inside, the Chef had kneaded them with a mixture prepared from “false values” and “empty words.” The rice, Grandson, took me a long time to figure out how it was made. After a while, I identified the reason, specifically the Chef’s manipulation. He didn’t use Kocani rice at all; instead, he used some Chinese or North Korean rice, I couldn’t determine it conclusively. But clearly, the Chef skillfully attempted to create “Hai-fai” (closest to the original) Kocani rice. The rice is boiled in several waters. First, it is boiled in water from the spring called the “dictatorship of the proletariat,” constantly stirred with the Chef’s “leftist” blend or one of his assistants to prevent the rice from burning. The second water was the Chef’s special water, enriched with the seasonings of moral dullness, antisocial behavior, and the Chef’s destructiveness. In the end, the rice was mixed with béchamel sauce made from oligarchic-political patriotic secrets and an old, scattered, covered with the “nationalism” blanket. The taste of the rice was bland, overly overcooked; however, the Chef’s attempt to create Macedonian rice didn’t succeed.
The meat, Grandson, is the kind of meat that requires volumes and volumes to describe. Firstly, it was evident that meat from a “pasture-raised cow” was used, semi-wild, semi-tamed. Ground a few times but still with a firm internal structure. The Chef tried to tenderize it with a few drops of “impure blood,” but he achieved the opposite effect and created “wild meat.” Here, he made a mistake by using a pale yellow grass called “Pirej,” forgetting that “Pirej” is used to create “wild meat.” To create a somewhat suitable mixture that would easily blend with the rice, he applied several “Secrets of the Great Kitchen Masters.” He fried it for a long time with finely chopped green “mythology” and red “idolatry,” adding a handful of “manipulation” while frying. Finally, he seasoned it well with “a dash of delusions” and almost fermented wine vinegar made from sorrow and bitterness.
The way the rice and meat were prepared didn’t allow the Chef to create a homogeneous mixture with which he could shape the fine sarma balls before wrapping them in the scattered cabbage leaves. Grandson, even “Boiled Frog” seemed suspicious to me; it was evident that the Chef first stunned the frog with a few pathetic political, misanthropic electroshocks and then boiled it. The special quality of the Chef, a psychopathic obsession with animals… and people.
Grandson, please forgive me, but I didn’t like “your” Chef’s sarma. Why? I didn’t taste any of our wonderful vegetables on my palate. It lacked love, benevolence, gratitude, humility, or at least a trace of happiness that I could find. I couldn’t find hope even at the bottom of the plate.
In the end, as they say, the ending embellishes the work, I experienced an emotional shock. I realized that our Chef was a charlatan in the kitchen, the only thing he knew how to make, of questionable quality, was “disrupted sarma.” In reality, the sarma he prepared and garnished was delivered to him from the nearby “roadside tavern” located north of ours. Your Chef was an ordinary liar, an avatar of the Chef from the north. What cynicism! He, the impostor, your HM Chef, suffered from the Dunning-Kruger effect, a cognitive bias in which people with limited competence in a particular domain overestimate their abilities. He hadn’t learned how to prepare the meat and rice, nor which spices to use to achieve a homogeneous mixture, let alone how to wrap it in cabbage leaves.
That’s why I didn’t like the sarma made from scattered cabbage. Lies, deceit, swindlers, horse thieves, criminals, Neanderthals, primitives… I bid you farewell, Grandson; I’m leaving. I wouldn’t want to be a part of this charade. As for you… You… You know what to do!
Written and translated from Old Macedonian
by Oliver Andonov