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Sheftalia (on the left) and souvlakia grilled on foukou

Sheftalia (locally [ʃeftaˈʎa]; Greek: σεφταλιά; Turkish: şeftali kebabı or şeftali; is a traditional Cypriot food. It is a type of crépinette, a sausage without skin, that uses caul fat, or omentum, the membrane that surrounds the stomach of pig or lamb, to wrap the ingredients rather than sausage casing. It is a traditional Cypriot dish.


The name comes from the Turkish word şeftali, which means "peach", and presumably refers to the texture and consistency of the prepared food. Another explanation for the name is that it was first devised by a Turkish Cypriot street food vendor called "Şef Ali" (Chef Ali), who called it "Şef Ali kebabı", which in time became to be called "Şeftali kebabı" among consumers.[citation needed]


Caul fat is transparent and naturally fatty. The filling is made of ground pork or lamb shoulder or leg mixed with finely chopped onion and parsley, salt, and pepper and formed into small round balls. These balls are then placed on the spread caul fat and squares of caul fat are cut around them and wrapped, making little sausages which are put on two skewers. Sheftalia are then grilled, preferably on charcoal until golden brown.

By the time it is served has the outer layer of fat melted away and reduced to a thin golden brown layer of bark.

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