Doner kebab in the world
Found in: Turkish cuisine kebabs
Doner kebab , is a Turkish dish made of meat cooked on a vertical spit and sliced off to order. The meat may be lamb, mutton, beef, goat, or chicken. Alternative names include kebap, donair, doner, doner or donner. Doner Kebab is the origin of other similar Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes such as shawarma and gyros. A version developed to suit German tastes by Turkish immigrants in Berlin has become one of Germany's most popular fast food dishes,and Turkish emigrants export German doners back into their home country.
Doner kebab around the world
Doner kebab is now widely available across Europe and Canada, mostly in the variant developed in Germany.
In Australia, kebabs are very popular due to immigration from Greece, Turkey, former Yugoslavia, and Lebanon and are perceived as a healthier alternative to McDonald's or KFC. Kebabs are usually served in pita or Turkish bread, rather than in a sandwich. In Australia shops or stalls run by Greeks kebabs are usually called souvlaki or yiros/yeeros . Kebabs often include a fried egg in Western Australia.
Meat (beef or lamb) and chicken kebabs can be easily found in Sydney where most suburbs have take-away shops that offer them. They are commonly served with cheese and a salad consisting of lettuce, tomato, onion, and tabouli on pita bread (also known locally as 'Lebanese bread'). The most commonly used sauces are tomato sauce (ketchup), barbecue (BBQ) sauce, hummus (made with chickpeas), garlic sauce (tzatziki) and chilli or sweet chilli sauce. Doner kebabs in Sydney can be served with all the ingredients placed onto or next to the pita bread on a plate, or more commonly, with the ingredients rolled into the pita bread in the form of a 'wrap'. There are two primary ways to serve the wrapped version, it can be toasted once it's been wrapped, which has the effect of melting the cheese (if any) and baking the bread so that it hardens and becomes crisp, the alternative is just serving it without toasting. An additional form is predominant in Canberra, the nation's capital, where the bread with filling is passed underneath a grill for a minute. The sandwich is then wrapped in paper to stop the filling from falling out and usually placed in a foil/paper sleeve. (This variety is also available in Auckland city in nearby New Zealand). In Brisbane Kebabs are influenced most strongly by the Turkish variation. They are invariably served in a pita wrap and toasted in a 'sandwich press' for about a minute before being inserted into a foil/paper sleeve.
Shops or vans selling kebabs are colloquially referred to as "Kebaberies" in some parts of Australia.
Kebab meat is also found as a pizza topping in the western suburbs (such as Penrith) of Sydney, along with the usual pizza toppings.
Doner is very popular, locals especially in Herat and Kabul enjoy the doner kebab. In Afghanistan it is called shawarma, Kababe Torki (Turkish kebab), or Sandwich Unanee (Greek Sandwich)
In Azerbaijan doner is often called "national fast food". Very popular in all regions of the country. Most popular variety - Turkish doner.
Doner kebab restaurants and food stands can be found in almost all cities and smaller towns in Belgium. The variety served is similar to the variety served in Germany and the Netherlands. However, it is not uncommon to see doner being served with French fries in Belgium, often stuffed into the bread itself (similar to the German "Kebab mit Pommes"). This is probably done to suit local taste, as French fries are still the most common Belgian fastfood. Available sauces in Belgium are usually mayonnaise-based and the most popular are the garlic and cocktail variety, as well as a spicy sauce known as samurai that originated in the Belgian fries-shops. Other popular sauces include plain mayonnaise, sambal oelek or harissa paste, andalouse sauce, "americaine" sauce and tomato or curry ketchup. Belgians are renowned to often mix two sauces for maximizing taste effects (e.g. garlic and sambal). Another basic ingredient of the typical Belgian Kebab is two or three green, spicy, Turkish peppers.
Doner kebab is one of the most popular fast food dishes at Sao Paulo streets. Its usually served as a sandwich, and its called "Churrasquinho Grego", which means "Greek Barbecue".
A variation on the doner kebab known as a Donair was introduced in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada in the early 1970s. A restaurant called King of Donair claims to have been the first to serve this version in 1973.
The meat in this version of the doner kebab is sliced from a loaf cooked on a vertical spit, made from a combination of ground beef, flour or bread crumbs, and various spices, while the sauce is made from evaporated milk, sugar, vinegar, and garlic. The meat and sauce are served rolled in a flat-bread pita with diced tomato and onion. This version is generally so packed with ingredients, that the pita is almost there for ceremonial purposes; the pita of any true Haligonian donair will be so soaked in sauce that attempts to pick it up will be fruitless.
This version of the donair is very popular throughout the Maritime region of Canada, and is also available in some other areas of the country, with many fast food pizza restaurants also featuring donairs on the menu. Many of them also offer a donair pizza featuring all of the donair ingredients served on a pizza crust. Donair subs are also not uncommon. This is especially true in the Alberta cities of Edmonton and Calgary. Donairs in central Canada (Ontario and Quebec) are virtually non-existant. Shawarma is a much more popular dish there.
Halifax, in particular, seems to take a certain pride in the donair as its own defining fast food.
There are long lines to buy them at 3:30 A.M., after the bars close. The donair sauce on its own used to be provided for free though due to it gaining popularity it is often provided for a small fee with garlic fingers or as a pizza topping by Halifax pizza restaurants — even local franchises of chains not based in the Halifax Regional Municipality.
Doners are prevalent in western China, especially Xinjiang, due to Turkish influence. Doner kebabs are a regional specialty that gradually spread to elsewhere in China.
In Denmark doner kebab is sold under a variety of names depending on the doner salesmans ethnic background. In Copenhagen doners are usually called shawarma (Arabic) or simply kebab but in other parts of the country it is sold as guss (Iraqi). The tag doner is however rarely used. Doner kebab was first introduced to Denmark in 1981 by Turkish migrant workers, and has since become a staple. In Denmark Doner is served with salad, tomatoes, sour cream dressing and chilli oil in either a pita bread, rolled in a flat bread (durum) or served on pizza. Often, doner kebab will be served in a durum roll.
In Finland, kebabs have gained a lot of popularity since Turkish immigrants have opened restaurants and imported their own traditional food . The popularity can be noticed in everyday life, especially in larger cities. Kebab foods are generally regarded as fast-food, often served in late-night restaurants also serving pizza. There are at least 1122 currently active restaurants that serve kebab foods(Finnish) Kebabille.com main page stats (number of restaurants) [*] in Finland. Beef is dominantly used instead of lamb due to the fact that Finns are familiar with the taste and consume beef significantly more than lamb which also means that it is cheaper and has good availability. Some doners can be a mix of lamb and beef.
Most kebab shops (themselves known simply as kebabs) are run by some of the many Turkish immigrants in France. The basic kebab consists of Turkish bread stuffed with grilled beef shavings, onions and lettuce, with a choice of sauce from sauce blanche (yoghurt sauce with garlic and herbs), harissa (spicy red sauce originally from Tunisia), ketchup, or several others. Very frequently kebabs are served with French fries, often stuffed into the bread itself. Other variations include turkey or chicken, fish, falafel or sausage, and replacing the Turkish bread with pita bread or baguette; indeed, this is actually more common than the Turkish pide bread in many smaller towns. Most kebabs cost between 4 to 5.50.
In many cities throughout Germany, the Turkish Doner Kebab and Vegetarischer Doner, made with Falafel, are far more popular than hamburgers or sausages, especially with young people, who eat a "Doner" (as it is usually just called) for lunch, dinner and late at night after returning from clubs and bars .
Typically, along with the meat, a salad consisting of chopped lettuce, cabbage, onions, cucumber, and tomatoes is offered, as well as a choice of sauces (hot sauce ("scharfe Sosse"), herb sauce ("Krautersosse"), garlic sauce ("Knoblauchsosse"), or yoghurt ("Joghurtsosse")). The filling is served in thick flatbread ("Fladenbrot") that is usually toasted or warmed. There are different variations on the Doner Kebab, one of which is the "Kebab mit Pommes." This is similar to a normal Doner Kebab, except it has french fries in addition to the meat. Another variety is achieved by placing the ingredients on a Lahmacun (a flat round dough topped with minced meat and spices) and then rolling the ingredients inside the dough into a tube that is eaten out of a wrapping of usually aluminum foil ("Doner Pizza"). When plain dough is used (without the typical Lahmacun spices and minced meat) you refer to the rolled Kebab as "Durum Doner" or "Doner Yufka". The packaging of the Doner itself in Germany is typically a wax paper sleeve with an image of a male cook sharpening a knife in front of a large spit.
Statistically, the Germans consume 200 to 300 metric tonnes of Doner Kebab per day. In 1998, they spent about 1.5 billion on Doner Kebab. Germany's large Turkish minority is probably the biggest reason for the widespread sale of Doner Kebab sandwiches there: After World War II, large numbers of Turks were invited to come to Germany as "guest workers", to help with the German reconstruction effort and fill a then acute labour shortage caused by the loss of manpower in WWII. A certain share of these Turkish workers eventually stayed in Germany, and opening small food shops and takeaways was an excellent option in terms of progressing from more menial jobs.
Doner is very popular in Iran and it is known as the "Turkish Kabab" or "Kababe Torki" in Persian.
Although shawarma is much more common in Israel, lately several restaurants in Tel-Aviv started to serve an authentic Doner kebab.
Doner is very popular, especially among the Moroccan immigrants, and the younger crowd including students and bar-goers in many major cities. Common toppings include french fries, cabbage, lettuce, tomato, onions, hot pepper relish, spiced yogurt, mayonnaise, and ketsup. The sandwiches typically cost 3,50 with discounts given to students in some locations. It is also possible to get the kebabs without bread in a small foil bowl with all of the toppings over rice.
Doner kebabs are also starting to be seen in Japan where they are predominantly sold from parked vans. Doner kebabs have been adjusted to suit Japanese tastes; the salad is usually omitted in favour of shredded cabbage, and the sauce is composed primarily of mayonnaise.
Employees of doner kebab stands (along with those of Indian restaurants) are among the most visible non-East Asian, non-Western European immigrants in Japan. This phenomenon has only become prevalent in the last five years, and is perhaps indicative of changing attitudes towards foreigners.
A similar dish is served in Mexico known as "tacos de pastor" or "tacos de trompo", the cooking seem to be different than that of the kebab. The meat is cooked and then sliced into a "tortilla" made of corn. They can be found in great part of Mexico, specially in street corners. They are not new in Mexico, and it is unknown if there is a direct relationship with the Turkish Kebab.
Doner kebab is very popular in the Netherlands among all populations. It should not be confused with shawarma. It is generally served with lettuce, onion, tomato slices and sauce, mainly garlic and sambal. It is available in all major cities and also in many smaller towns.
In Norway, the kebab was introduced by Turkish and Arab immigrants during the 1980s. Soon becoming a very popular meal after a night out, the kebab gained a cult status among young people during the 1990s. The kebab has become a symbol of immigration from the muslim world, and speaking Norwegian with an Arab accent or with a lot of words and expressions borrowed from the Turkish, Arab, Persian and Punjabi languages is usually referred to as "Kebabnorsk" (Kebab Norwegian).
The kebabs in Norway are served in a variety of ways, and Thousand Island dressing is often used as a sauce at fast food shops selling both hamburgers and kebabs. The kebab roll has become increasingly popular, where the kebab is not served in pita bread, but rather wrapped in pizza dough (making it look like a spring roll) for easy consumption. The most 'Norwegian' kebab to date is probably the whale meat kebab sold at the Inferno Metal Festival. As of 2008, the average price of the kebab in Norway lies around 65 kroner, or app. 8.
The Norwegian Food Safety authorities have issued a warning on cheap kebabs, estimating that more than 80% of kebab shops selling these are involved in organized meat smuggling, or are in other ways not in full compliance with Norwegian food safety laws and regulations .
In the Philippines, doner kebab is referred to by its Arabic name, shawarma, and has become relatively common in major cities, especially Manila. This may be due to the huge number of Filipino overseas workers who have been contracted for Middle East work over many years. Filipino-style Shawarma is beef (never minced) or chicken, and, rarely, lamb (which is expensive in the Philippines). It is wrapped in a small pita , rolled up, and covered in an oil-based garlic sauce (like a thin aioli) and a hot chilli sauce, together with chopped lettuce, onions and tomato. Recipes vary, some using a sweet, almost teriyaki-like marinade. 'Special' shawarma can include cheese, French fries, and homemade pickles. Shawarma can also be served with rice.
In Poland the kebab bars are spread mostly in majors cities, but still considered one of the most, if not the most popular fast foods for the young people. A very Polish specialty is a fresh cabbage salad with cucumbers, tomatoes and other vegetables, added to the meat in a sandwich. A basic version costs 7 - 8 zl (2 - 2.5) and includes pita or thick bread, meat with onion, mentioned salad and choice of sauces. It can be super sized and/or served with extra cheese. Sandwiches are available with hot, medium or mild sauces made of house special ingredients. Kebab shops serve also complete meals, vegetarian dishes and ayran. Undoubtedly Warsaw is the capital of Polish kebab, with shops run by Turkish emigrants, and serving Arab specialties and hookah pipes apart from the sandwiches. As they run 24/7they are often visited by partying youth and policemen.
Kebabs were rarely seen in Poland before the downfall of the Iron Curtain in 1989. A similar Greek-fashioned dish gyros could have been occasionally encountered in that era. One possible origin of the recent popularity of kebab in Poland is post-communist Berlin, with local Turkish immigrants inspired by their fellow natives in the other country.
Republic of Ireland
In Dublin, Ireland, increasing numbers of Turkish immigrants have led to something of an explosion in the number of late-night kebab eateries, hugely popular with party-goers and evening revellers in the city centre.
Kebabs are often eaten as take-away food on the way home after a night out. Due to a huge demand for late night food in the city centre, large businesses, such as Abra Kebabra, have left their doors open late into the night all through the week. Some businesses charge an additional surcharge on all food purchased later in the night.
The Irish doner kebab consists of doner meat (lamb) placed into a pita with sliced cabbage and red cabbage. Two sauces are then placed through the kebab, a yogurty garlic white sauce and a hot and spicy red sauce.
In Russia Danar is a specialty similar to Doner kebab, sometimes served in hamburgers and made of pork.
In Sweden, "Kebab med brod" can be found in the local pizzeria. The word Kebab is normally associated with Doner Kebab, and it's quickly, along with falafel becoming a popular fast food alternative to the more traditional hot dogs and hamburgers. Other commonly occurring kebab variants are "kebabpizza" (pizza with kebab meat), "kebabrulle" , and "kebabtallrik" (a plate of kebab meat with french fries and/or salad).
Doner can be found in cities across Switzerland. Of particular interest are the Doner stands in the Zurich old town.
The doner vendors have popularised the grammatically incorrect way of asking if the customer wants the doner "mit scharf/ohne scharf" (i.e. "with hot/without hot"). This ubiquitous error has entered the general usage of German in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany, and people don't react at all to this grammatical peculiarity.
In Turkey, the "German" doner was generally frowned upon. However, in the southern coastal areas where tourism is a major economic factor, it turned out that from the early 1990s on, German and other European tourists were demanding what they considered "real" doner, that is, the Germanized variety. Nowadays, in tourist areas, the salad-sauce-sandwich type of doner is becoming more and more widespread or even dominant. The traditional method of preparation and serving (as a main course with sliced pita, pilaf (of bulgur or rice), and melted butter) is still most accepted at restaurants. Another way of serving at restaurants is named pilav ustu doner, with slices of doner placed on a bed of rice pilaf and usually garnished with tomatoes, onions, green peppers, etc. However, the prevailing variant sold as fast-food is known as doner sandvic or ekmek arasi, a sandwich prepared with doner, a half a loaf of bread (not pita) and a salad but no dressing. Durum is also another Turkish doner type which means to wrap in something, in this case a 'thinner bread' like lavash.
DurumA durum (Turkish for "roll") is the wrap used to wrap a doner kebab. It is a lavash bread, similar to the Mexican tortilla.
In Belgium, it is filled with meat, fries and salad, topped by one of the typical Belgian sauces. Many types of fried meat, including traditional Belgian (i.e. not only Turkish) fast food is often also put in a durum. Alternatively, the same ensemble is put in a mitraillette.
The doner kebab with salad and sauce is a very popular dish in the United Kingdom. The typical kebab supplier (known as "kebab shops") in the UK will offer hot chilli sauce and garlic yoghurt-style sauce, and in different regions may also offer barbecue sauce, burger sauce, lemon juice, or a mint sauce similar to raita. Sometimes a customer can ask for a mild, a medium or a hot sauce, but it is not made clear what the ingredients are. Kebabs are often eaten as take-away food on the way home after a night out. Kebabs are very much part of the Friday and Saturday night culture in the UK rather than breakfast or lunchtime food. There are several common ways in which doner kebabs are served in the UK:
Wrapped in pita bread
On naan bread
Served as a dish of "doner meat (or chicken donor meat) and chips", typically including salad
Often preferred to be garnished with a range of sauces such as tomato ketchup, mayonnaise, chilli sauce, mint or garlic sauce.
UK doner kebab often uses a different mixture of spices, because immigrants from Cyprus operate a major proportion of the takeaways. Menus typically offer doner, shish (lamb and chicken) and kofte kebabs, with a 'special' including portions of each with bread and chips. "Doner meat" is often also offered as a pizza or burger topping in such establishments. The part of the animal used to produce the meat is not generally made clear; consequently, there are a lot of myths and jokes flying around as to the source.
In the United States, Doner Kebab is largely unknown except as a gyro sandwich . Doner Kebab is available in larger cities (especially in the Northeast) with a strong Mideastern immigrant community, e.g. New York. In contrast, gyros, considered Greek food, are popular across the U.S., and frequently are found at mobile stands as fair food.
Kebab for other kinds of kebab
Gyros, a Greek style version.
Iskender kebap, doner served with tomato sauce and yoghurt.
Shawarma, the Arabic term for a similar dish.
Shish taouk, a similar dish in Montreal made with chicken.
Tacos al pastor, a similar dish from Mexico, made from spiced pork and served in a tortilla.
Cag kebab, Horizontal Doner Kebab from Erzurum