|Course||Snack or main course|
|Place of origin||Turkey|
|Region or state||Anatolia|
|Created by||Ottomans (dates to 18th century)|
|Main ingredients||Lamb, beef or chicken|
|Cookbook: Doner kebab Media: Doner kebab|
Doner kebab (also döner kebab) (/ /, //; Turkish: döner or döner kebap, [døˈnɛɾ ˈcebɑp]) is a Turkish kebab, made of meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie. Seasoned meat stacked in the shape of an inverted cone is turned slowly on the rotisserie, next to a vertical cooking element. The outer layer is sliced vertically into thin shavings as it cooks. Originally invented in the 19th century Ottoman Empire, it inspired similar dishes such as the Arab shawarma, Greek gyros, and Mexican al pastor.
The sliced meat of a doner kebab may be served on a plate with various accompaniments, stuffed into a pita or other type of bread as a sandwich, or wrapped in a thin flatbread such as lavash or yufka, known as a dürüm. Since the early 1970s, the sandwich or wrap form has become popular around the world as a fast food dish sold by kebab shops, and is often called simply a "kebab". The sandwich generally contains salad or vegetables, which may include tomato, lettuce, cabbage, onion with sumac, fresh or pickled cucumber, or chili, and various types of sauces.
- 1 History
- 2 Etymology
- 3 Döner in Turkey
- 4 Regional variations
- 4.1 Caucasus, Middle East and Asia
- 4.2 Europe
- 4.3 Americas
- 4.4 Oceania
- 5 Health concerns
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 Further reading
- 9 External links
As mentioned in Ottoman travel books of the 18th century,[unreliable source?] meat was cooked in a horizontal stack rather than vertical, like the cağ kebab. Grilling meat on horizontal skewers has an ancient history in the Eastern Mediterranean, but it is unknown when slices of meat, rather than chunks, were first used.
The region of Anatolia is well-known for kebab dishes, and the town of Bursa is considered the birthplace of the vertically-roasted döner kebab. In his own family biography, İskender Efendi of 19th century Bursa writes that "he and his grandfather had the idea of roasting the lamb vertically rather than horizontally, and invented for that purpose a vertical mangal". Since then, Hacı İskender has been considered the inventor of Turkish döner kebap,[non-primary source needed] though he might have been preceded by Hamdi Usta from Kastamonu around 1830.
With time, the meat took a different marinade, got leaner, and eventually took its modern shape. It was not until a century later, that döner kebab was introduced and popularized in Istanbul, most famously by Beyti Güler. His restaurant, first opened in 1945, was soon discovered by journalists and began serving döner and other kebab dishes to kings, prime ministers, film stars and celebrities. It has been sold in sandwich form in Istanbul since at least the mid-1960s.
The döner kebab, and its derivatives shawarma and gyros, served in a sandwich, came to world-wide prominence in the mid to late 20th century. The first doner kebab shop in London opened in 1966, while Greek-style doner kebab, also known as gyros, was already popular in Greece and New York City in 1971.
In Germany, the döner kebab was popularized by Turkish guest workers in Berlin in the early 1970s. The dish developed there from its original form into a distinctive style of sandwich with abundant salad, vegetables, and sauces, sold in large portions at affordable prices, that would soon become one of the top-selling fast food and street food dishes in Germany and much of Europe, and popular around the world.
In the English name "doner kebab", the word doner is borrowed from the Turkish döner kebap, with the Turkish letter ö usually anglicized as "o", though "döner kebab" is an alternate spelling in English. The word "kebab" is used, which comes to English from the Arabic: كَبَاب (kabāb), partly through Urdu, Persian and Turkish; it may refer to a number of different kebab dishes made with roasted or grilled meat. While kebab has been used in English since the late 17th century, doner/döner kebab is known only from the mid-20th or later. The Turkish word döner comes from dönmek ("to turn" or "to rotate"), so the Turkish name döner kebap literally means "rotating roast". In German, it is spelled Döner Kebab, which can also be spelled Doener Kebab if the ö character is not available; the sandwich is often called ein Döner. Particularly in British English, a döner kebab sandwich may be referred to simply as "a kebab". A Canadian variation is "donair". In Greek, it was originally called döner (Greek: ντονέρ) but later came to be known as gyros, from γύρος ("turn"), a calque of the Turkish name. The Arabic name شاورما (shāwarmā) derives from another Turkish word, çevirme, also meaning "turning". Persians refer to it as "kebab torki".
Döner in Turkey
There are many variations of döner in Turkey:
- Porsiyon ("portion", döner on a slightly heated plate, sometimes with a few grilled peppers or broiled tomatoes on the side)
- Pilavüstü ("over rice", döner served on a base of pilaf rice)
- İskender (specialty of Bursa, served in an oblong plate, atop a base of thin pita, with a dash of pepper or tomato sauce and boiling fresh butter) "Kebapçı İskender" is trademarked by Yavuz İskenderoğlu, whose family still runs the restaurant in Bursa.
- Dürüm, wrapped in a thin lavaş that is sometimes also grilled after being rolled, to make it crispier. It has two main variants in mainland Turkey:
- Tombik or gobit (literally "the chubby", döner in a bun-shaped pita, with crispy crust and soft inside, and generally less meat than a dürüm)
- Ekmekarası ("between bread", generally the most filling version, consisting of a whole (or a half) regular Turkish bread filled with döner)
İskender or "Bursa kebabı"
Döner served in a "tombik pide" ("chubby" pita) also called in Turkish: gobit.
Caucasus, Middle East and Asia
In Armenia Ġarsi khorovats, šaurma or in the Armenian diaspora, "Tarna" (literally, "it turns"); it is usually lamb, pork or chicken on a vertical rotisserie, sliced and wrapped in lavaş, served with tahini, yogurt or garlic sauce and with a side dish of pickled vegetables or tourshi.[better source needed]
In Azerbaijan, döner kebab (Azerbaijani: dönər), served similarly to the European style of sandwich wrapped in lavaş (flatbread) or in çörәk (bread, including tandoor bread), is one of the most widespread fast foods. It is usually made with әt (meat, essentially lamb or mutton), but sometimes toyuq (chicken).
In Japan, döner kebabs are now common, especially in Tokyo. They are predominantly made of chicken but occasionally beef, and called simply "kebab". The toppings include shredded lettuce or cabbage, usually with a choice of sauces such as Thousand Islands, spicy, and garlic, and often sliced tomato.
Döner kebab is available throughout much of Seoul, particularly in the foreigner-dominated neighborhood of Itaewon. The kebabs sold at street carts are typically made from chicken rather than lamb, and served in a tortilla or a flatbread; at permanent takeaways a choice of chicken or lamb is almost always offered, together with the occasional option of another type of bread such as a leavened roll.
Döner kebab is increasingly becoming popular in Vietnam. Throughout Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City many döner kebab stalls can be found. Bánh mỳ Döner Kebab, the Vietnamese version of the döner kebab, has some fundamental differences with the original döner kebab. First of all, pork is used instead of beef and lamb. Second, the meat is served in a Vietnamese baguette. Thirdly, the meat is topped with sour vegetables and chili sauce.
Döner kebab restaurants and food stands can be found in almost all cities and smaller towns in Belgium, where they are known as dürüm when served in a wrap. The variety served is similar to that of Germany and the Netherlands. However, it is not uncommon to see döner served with French fries, often stuffed into the bread itself (similar to the German "Kebab mit Pommes"). Many different sauces are typically offered, including plain mayonnaise, aioli, cocktail sauce, sambal oelek or harissa paste, andalouse sauce, "américaine" sauce and tomato ketchup or curry ketchup. Another basic ingredient of the typical Belgian döner kebab is two or three green, spicy, Turkish peppers.
In Finland, döner kebabs have gained a lot of popularity since Turkish immigrants opened restaurants and imported their traditional food. Kebabs are generally regarded as fast food, often served in late-night restaurants also serving pizza, as well as shopping malls. There are over 1000 currently active restaurants that serve kebab foods in Finland, making one kebab restaurant for every 5000 people in mainland Finland.
Most kebab shops (themselves known simply as kebabs) are generally run by North African immigrants in France. The basic kebab consists of either "pain de maison" (Turkish soft bread) or "pain arabe" (unleavened flatbread) stuffed with grilled lamb shavings, onions and lettuce, with a choice of sauce from sauce blanche (yogurt sauce with garlic and herbs), harissa (spicy red sauce originally from North Africa), ketchup, or several others. Kebabs are usually served with french fries, often stuffed into the bread itself. In Paris, this variation is called Sandwich grec ("Greek sandwich"). Other variations include beef, turkey, chicken, veal, and replacing the Turkish bread with pita bread or baguette.
In Germany, the earliest claim to the introduction of Turkish döner kebab dates to 1969, when Bursa native Nevzat Salim and his father started to sell the Iskender Kebap in Reutlingen. However, the Association of Turkish Döner Producers in Europe (ATDID) connects the wide popularization of the dish to the stand of Turkish guest worker Kadir Nurman at West Berlin's Zoo Station in 1972, which helped establish the döner kebab sandwich as a fast food option. While the claims of multiple persons to have "invented" the döner may be hard to prove, the further development of döner kebap is connected to the city of Berlin.
The döner kebap as it was first served in Berlin contained only meat, onions and a bit of salad. Over time, it developed into a dish with abundant salad, vegetables, and a selection of sauces to choose from. Even orders placed in the Turkish language in Berlin will ask for the hot sauce using the German word "scharf", flagging the hybrid nature of the Berlin style of döner kebap. This variation served with pita bread has influenced the style of döner kebap in Germany and in other nations. A 2007 survey showed that many people consider the döner kebab to be the most characteristic food of Berlin.
Annual sales of döner kebabs in Germany amounted to €2.5 billion in 2010. Beef or veal, and chicken, are widely used instead of the more expensive lamb. Turkey ("Truthahn") and vegetarian versions are becoming increasingly popular.
Tarkan Taşyumruk, president of the Association of Turkish Döner Producers in Europe (ATDID), provided information in 2010 that, every day, more than 400 tonnes of döner kebab meat is produced in Germany by around 350 firms. At the same ATDID fair, Taşyumruk stated that, "Annual sales in Germany amount to €2.5 billion. That shows we are one of the biggest fast-foods in Germany." In many cities throughout Germany, döner kebabs are at least as popular as hamburgers or sausages, especially with young people.
In 2011 there were over 16,000 establishments selling döner kebabs in Germany, with yearly sales of €3.5 billion.
Döner kebab is available in the Netherlands. As a snack, it is usually served in or with a pita as a "broodje döner" (döner sandwich) with lettuce, onion, tomato slices and sauces, mainly garlic and sambal. The Kapsalon, a dish made with döner meat, french fries, cheese, and salad, originated in Rotterdam.
Introduced by Turkish immigrants, the döner kebab with salad and sauce is a very popular dish in the United Kingdom, especially after a night out.
A variation known as "donair" was introduced in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, in the early 1970s. Peter Gamoulakos migrated to Canada in 1959. When he failed in his attempt to sell traditional gyros, Gamoulakos adapted the dish to local tastes. He substituted beef for lamb and created a sweet sauce known as "donair sauce". Gamoulakos created the donair in 1973. In 2015 Halifax named donair the official food of the city.
There is evidence of Greek restaurants serving doner kebab by the original name, as well as by gyros, in the early 1970s. It was also available, possibly later, in some Turkish restaurants. In recent years a number of restaurants and food trucks specializing in döner kebab have opened in various parts of the country; a substantial percentage are owned by German immigrants. Verts Mediterranean Grill, an Austin-based döner kebab chain with locations mainly in Texas, has become the second-largest döner kebab chain in the world.
A halal snack pack is a dish that originated in Australia. It consists of halal-certified doner kebab meat, chips / french fries, and sauces such as chili, garlic and barbecue. It is traditionally served in a styrofoam container, and has been described as a staple dish of takeaway kebab shops in Australia. The name of the dish was selected by the Macquarie Dictionary as the "People's choice Word of the Year" for 2016.
Döner kebab is popular in many countries in the form of fast food, often as an end to a night out when preceded by the consumption of alcohol. Health concerns regarding döner kebab, including the hygiene involved in overnight storage and re-heating of partially cooked meat, its quality, as well as high salt, fat, and calorie levels, have been reported in the media. Lean meat, wholemeal bread, and salad, can be considered healthy eating choices, but large amounts of oil-based sauces, added salt, fatty meat, and overly large portions, may contribute to significant health risks.
Some investigations have found poor-quality ingredients in döner kebab meat, or meat types other than what was advertised. Food safety regulations in most countries address the dangers of bacteria in undercooked meat of all kinds, sold to the public. Some have guidelines specific to döner kebab handling and preparation. Following several outbreaks of E. coli food poisoning, the Canadian government in 2008 introduced a number of recommendations, including that the meat should be cooked a second time, after being sliced from the rotisserie. In Germany, any döner kebab meat placed onto the rotisserie must be sold the same day. It is a violation of health regulations to freeze any meat for sale at a later date.  There were also a number of "Gammelfleisch" scandals, particularly in Autumn 2005, relating to spoiled and expired döner meat being sold.
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doner kebab, also known as a gyro, the by-now-familiar compressed seasoned lamb cooked on a vertical rotisserie, slices of which are served as a sandwich on Greek pita bread
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