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This article is about the food dish. For other uses, see Gyro.
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Doner meat being sliced from a rotating spit. Note the iron heating-plate behind the spit, which is used to cook the meat
Place of origin Turkey
Region or state Bursa, Erzurum, Erzincan and Kastamonu
Creator(s) Disputed, goes back to 18th century
Course served Snack or main course
Serving temperature Hot
Main ingredient(s) Lamb/Chicken
Gyro sandwich with meat, onions, tomato, and tzatziki sauce in a pita
Doner kebab (Turkish: döner kebabı) is a Turkish dish made of roasted meat cooked on a vertical spit. It is also known regionally as gyro ( /ˈjɪəroʊ/ yeer-oh, /ˈdʒaɪroʊ/ jy-roh, /ˈʒɪəroʊ/ zheer-oh; Greek: γύρος, [ˈʝiros], lit. 'turn'), shawarma, and al pastor (Spanish; "Shepherd style"). It consists of shaved lamb, goat, chicken, turkey, beef, or mixed meats roasted on a spit. Less common alternatives include fish and sausage. It is often served wrapped in a flatbread such as a pita or tortilla, and is a common fast food item in Germany, The Middle East, Europe, the Caucasus, North America and Australia.
In a prepared dish, seasoned meat is stacked on a vertical spit in the shape of an inverted cone. It is turned slowly, cooking against a vertical rotisserie. A tomato, onion or pineapple may be placed at the top of the stack for additional flavouring. The meat is cooked by charcoal, wood, cast iron, electric, or gas burner. If the meat is not fatty enough, strips of fat are added so that the roasting meat remains always moist and crisp. The rate of roasting can be adjusted by varying the strength of the heat and the distance between the heat and the meat, allowing the cook to adjust to varying rates of consumption. The outside of the meat is sliced vertically in thin, crisp shavings when done. While cooking, the meat is shaved off the stack with a large knife, an electric knife or a small circular saw, dropping to a circular tray below to be retrieved.
Toppings include tomato, onion, lettuce, lavash, tabbouleh, fattoush, eggplant, parsley, pickled gherkins, cabbage, pineapple, cucumber and pickled turnips. Sauces include tzatziki, tahini, hummus, amba, salsa, hot sauce, garlic mayonnaise, toum (garlic sauce), pomegranate concentrate, lime juice, skhug (a hot chili sauce), tahini-based tarator, Turkish white cheese, or flavored with vinegar and spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
3 Regional variations
3.2 Caucasus, Middle East and Asia
3.4 The Americas
4 Health concerns
5 See also
Cağ kebabı, a related dish. Note that the meat is horizontally stacked.
Doner being carved in Bursa
Before taking its modern form, as mentioned in Ottoman travel books of the 18th century, the doner used to be a horizontal stack of meat rather than vertical, probably sharing common ancestors with the Cağ Kebabı of the Eastern Turkish province of Erzurum.
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". With time, the meat took a different marinade, got leaner, and eventually took its modern shape. The Greek gyro, along with the similar Middle Eastern shawarma and Mexican tacos al pastor, are derived from this dish. There are several stories regarding the origins of gyros in Greece: One says that the first "gyrádiko" was "Giorgos" who brought gyros to Thessaloniki in 1900; another legend from a meat production company states that döner was first introduced in the 1950s in Piraeus by a cook from Istanbul.
Doner kebab sandwich served in a thick pita (Turkish: pide).
A doner kebab is sometimes spelled döner kebap (the Turkish spelling), lit. 'rotating roast', or can be shortened to Doner (Turkish: döner), lit. 'turn around', also spelled "doener", "donair", "donar", "doner", or sometimes "donner"). The term kebab in some countries refers specifically to doner kebab.
The name gyro comes from Greek γύρος ('turn'), a calque of the Turkish döner, a name which was used in Ecuador as well as ντονέρ [doˈner] The Greek pronunciation is [ˈʝiros], but the pronunciation in English is often /ˈdʒaɪroʊ/ or, occasionally /ˈɡɪəroʊ/ or /ˈjɪəroʊ/. The final 's' of the Greek form is often reinterpreted as a plural in English.
The word shawarma ( /ʃəˈwɑːrmə/) comes from the Turkish word çevirme [tʃeviɾˈme] 'turning', though the dish is usually called döner kebab 'turning kebab' in Turkish. In Greek, it was formerly called ντονέρ /doˈner/, and now called gyros 'turned'; in Armenian, it is "tarna", literally meaning "to turn".
Al pastor is a dish developed in Central Mexico, likely as a result of the adoption of the shawarma spit-grilled meat brought by Lebanese immigrants to Mexico. Having derived from the shawarma, it is also similar to the Turkish doner kebab and the Greek gyro]. Whereas döner is usually lamb-based, gyros and tacos al pastor in Mexico are almost all made from pork.
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In Tunisia, shawarma is a very popular imported dish. There are different fast foods which propose to serve the Tunisian maqloub which is a local version of the shawarma. In that one, the Tunisians add the different species and sauces. The only difference is in the spices and techniques used, which are jealously held secret by every chef. The meat (chicken, lamb, turkey or beef) is served inside the typical Tunisian bread (called "tabuna") or inside the more middle-eastern pita-like bread, together with a wide variety of flavors and some vegetables: garlic sauce, chick-pea sauce, local meshuya (a salad made out of grilled capsicum, tomatoes and garlic), cheese, tomatoes, onions, lettuce and fried chips. Each customer chooses his own flavors when ordering his shawarma. The shawarma or maqloub must be garnished with the Tunisian pepper puree called harissa or mayonnaise.
In West Africa, shawarma was introduced by Middle Eastern migrants (spelled chawarma in Francophone countries) and is a popular street food. In Nigeria, shawarma is usually served in Lebanese restaurants, and they are a popular delicacy among Arabs, Nigerians and Indians. If prepared by Nigerians, they consist mainly of beef, or chicken, cabbage, tomato ketchup, mayonnaise and chili, differentiating them from those of the Arab-based recipes.
Caucasus, Middle East and Asia
In Afghanistan, locals especially in Herat and Kabul enjoy the doner kebab. In Afghanistan it is called shawarma.
In Azerbaijan doner is called Shaurma (Aze:Şaurma) or Doner (Aze
önər). Shaurma is made with chicken and always include garlic sauce. While doner can be made with either chicken or beef, and doesn't include garlic sauce. Both can be served in bread, lavash or in plate. Doner also can be served in tandoor bread. The most popular variety is Turkish doner.
In Bangladesh shawarma along with doner kebab is getting popular mainly as fast-food item in Dhaka and to a lesser extent in Chittagong. Initially, fast food shops like Shawarma House and Arabian Fast Food added shawarma in their menu. These days, however, they are becoming common in many fast food shops and restaurants.
Doners are widespread in western China, especially Uyghur, owing to Turkish culture. Doner kebabs are a regional specialty that have gradually spread to elsewhere in China.
In Egypt, Shawarma -pronounced "Shawerma"- is one of the most popular street foods. There are many famous Egyptian restaurants and street stands alike offering different combinations of Shawarma. Shawarma is often served in small buns as an affordable small meal, with much less vegetable portions (mostly heavily grilled tomatoes and onions) and much more beef. Egyptian hummus -known as Tahina- is a lot thinner, and used almost exclusively for the beef variety, whereas "chicken shawarma" is often served with Garlic sauce. Shawarma could also be served as a topping for seasoned rice and grilled veggies, to be known as "Shawarma Fettah". Shawarma Fettah is often served with a much thicker, creamy garlic sauce topping. Shawarma has also been offered as stuffing for Egyptian Pies, also known as "Feteer".
Doner is a popular food in Georgia. It is a fast food product. The most popular places for eating doner are Doner Tbilisi near Filarmony (25 Kostava st ), Leselidze, Saakadze sq and in Gldani.
In India Shawarma was introduced in the 1980s with non-resident Indians working in Persian Gulf countries. Sometimes Paratha, an Indian flatbread originating in northern India but now eaten everywhere, is used instead of pita.
In Israel, shawarma (Hebrew: שווארמה) is a street food and offered in meat restaurants. Introduced by Mizrachi Jews and Arab citizens of Israel, the dish has become ubiquitous. It was most commonly made of lamb in the 1970s and 1980s. In the 1990s, a switch was made in favor of turkey or chicken. After 2000, lamb/veal mix began to appear, though turkey shawarma remains the most common by far. Often the rotating skewer is placed at the front of the fast-food stand, exposed to the street. Shawarma is served in a pita or a lafa and is usually eaten with salad, hummus or french fries. In Jerusalem, the lafa is called 'esh tanur'. One of the condiments in demand is Amba.
Kebab is derived from Persian noun (Kabab, Persian: کباب), today it also uses as a verb "Kabab kardan" (Grilling, Persian: کباب کردن). Because of this Iranians use a distinctive term for Doner Kebab.
Doner is popular in Iran and it is known as the "Turkish kebab" or ("kabab Torki", Persian: کباب ترکی), Some times it called "kabob Estanboli" (Kebab from Stanbul). It is also called dönar by Iranians.
In Lebanon, along with falafel, shawarma is the most popular street food.
In Libya, shawarma (meat and chicken) is the most popular street food
In Kazakhstan doner has become popular since declaration of independence when Turkish business in Kazakhstan started to develop
rapidly. Now doner is one of the most favorite types of fast-food in Kazakhstan, especially in Almaty.
A Moses (donair) location in Ueno, Tokyo.
In Japan, doner kebabs are starting to appear, mostly in Tokyo, 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.
In Arabic-speaking countries and Israel, the dish most similar to gyro and doner kebab is called shawarma and is usually made of chicken or lamb. The shawarma can be served in a pita, or in a lafa (a pita without a pocket which holds more food). The meat is not commonly prepared in strips like American gyros, but chopped into smaller chunks and usually served with tahini sauce. As commonly practiced in the early 1900s, Arabs used finely sharpened fillet knives to preserve the meats natural tenderness and avoid depleting it of natural juices.
In Pakistan, the doner kebab is referred to by its Arabic name, shawarma. Locals usually prefer to eat Shawarma with fizzy drinks. It is available in all small and major cities like Karachi, Hyderabad, Lahore, Faisalabad , Islamabad, Peshawar, Multan and Quetta.
One of the many shawarma stalls in University of the Philippines Diliman during the University's Christmas Lantern Parade
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 (one sandwich, around US$1), rolled up, and covered in an oil-based garlic sauce (like a thin allioli) and a hot chilli sauce, together with chopped lettuce, onions and tomato. Recipes vary, some using a sweet, almost teriyakilike marinade. "Special" shawarma can include cheese, French fries, and homemade pickles. "Shawarma Rice" is a dish popular among younger diners; it consists of all the aforementioned ingredients, except for the pita, which is replaced with a seasoned rice pilaf.
A shawarma ad in Russian and Arabic, Moscow
In Saudi Arabia, shawarma is very popular snack among Saudi and Arab population and also among foreigners. There are three different styles of doing shawarma in Saudi Arabia: Lebanese, Turkish, and Yemeni style. Lebanese is the most popular style and it is usually comes in shami/lebanese bread aka "pita". The toppings for the chicken shawarma are limited to garlic sauce, fries, and pickles. On the other hand, the toppings for the beef shawarma are tahina (tahini) sauce, parsley, and pickles. The bread size is usually small so it's common that people order two to three shawarmas. The Yemeni style which only can be found in Jeddah comes in a samoli bread aka "submarine bread". The chicken shawarma is prepared in the same way as other styles but the beef shawarma is prepared in a special way. Just before the shawarma is given to the customer, the shawarma is marinated in a special secret sauce. The last style is The Turkish style is found in the Turkish restaurants and it is quite similar to the Lebanese style. The shawarma price is usually between 3 SR to 6 SR (between 1 USD to 2 USD) t. It's interesting to note that in Saudi Arabia you can rarely find a shawarma joint that is open during day time; shawarma is more of a night food. Most famous spots of shawarma are: Al-Rimal hotel, Shawarmatak, Yaldezlar, and Al-zawaqa and they are all in Jeddah. In Riyadh there is a famous sandwich joint called Mama Noura.
Doner kebab is available throughout much of Seoul, particularly in the foreigner-dominated neighborhood of Itaewon. There are two main varieties: the first, sold from street carts, is modified to suit Korean tastes, with chicken rather than lamb, shredded white cabbage, and honey mustard; the second is offered at permanent takeaways such as Ankara Picnic, Mr. Kebab and Sultan Kebab, and features a lamb option along with more traditional sauces.
In Syria it is a very popular, filling snack that is widespread in all of the country. Along with Falafel, Shawarma is the most popular street food. Damascus, which contains some of the oldest Shawarma eateries in the region is particularly renowned for its Shawarma and is widely considered the point from which this specialty spread to other parts of the Middle East and the world. The shawarma sandwich is often toasted and in some few cases then cut into small pieces which can then be served on a plate and dipped in garlic sauce. The addition of Pomegranate sauce to the sandwich is one of the distinguishing qualities of Syrian shawarma.
Doner kebab is known as Shawarma(沙威瑪) in Taiwan. It is popular among night markets and streets throughout Taiwan and usually made from chicken and is served on leavened buns with julienned cabbage, slice of tomato, sliced onions, ketchup, and mayonnaise.
There is at least one doner kebab shop on the island of Koh Samui. There are many kebab shops around the Nana area on Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok, and many kebab shops in Pattaya on Walking Street.
There are many variations in Turkey:
Porsiyon ("the Portion", doner on a slightly heated plate, sometimes with a few grilled peppers or broiled tomatoes on the side)
Pilavüstü ("Ricetop", doner served on a base of pilaf rice that gets tastier as the fat in the meat drips into the rice)
İskender (specialty of Bursa, served in an oblong plate, atop a base of thin pita, complete with a dash of pepper or tomato sauce and boiling fresh butter)
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:
Soslu dürüm (speciality of Ankara, contains İskender sauce, making it juicier)
Kaşarlı dürüm döner (speciality of Istanbul, grated kaşar cheese is put in the wrap which is then toasted to melt the cheese and crisp up the Lavash)
Tombik or gobit (literally "the Fatty", doner in a bun-shaped pita, with crispy crust and soft inside, and generally less meat than a dürüm)
Ekmekarası ("in a bread", generally the most filling version, consisting of a whole (or a half) regular Turkish bread filled with doner)
Shawarma in the UAE
In the United Arab Emirates, shawarma is quite popular. This is due to the relatively low price, the ease in which a shawarma is prepared, as well as its taste being appealing to many of the UAE's residents. Most local cafeteria offer shawarma (mostly chicken) for a price range between AED 4 and can go up to AED8. Some restaurants offer a larger size shawarma which usually serves as a lunch meal along with some drink. Arabic bread is mostly used.
Vietnam: Several Turkish and Middle Eastern restaurants have opened up in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City offering both halal and non-halal variants of doner kebabs. Istanbul Cafe was the favorite chicken doner kebab restaurant in the Pham Ngu Lao backpacker area, until it closed its doors. Pork doner kebab restaurants can be found in the District 1 and District 3 areas of Ho Chi Minh City as well.
In Albania, doner kebabs are usually called "sufllaqe" and sold at fast food stores. In southern parts of the country, they are called "gjiro". They are made with either pork or chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, mayonnaise, French fries, ketchup, and/or mustard, etc. In general, a normal gjiro in Southern Albania is made with tomatoes, onions, French fries, ketchup, mustard and "salce kosi" (yogurt sauce). In the capital (Tirana) they are made with meat wrapped in freshly made pitta with thick yoghurt and cucumber sauce. Another variant includes a Russian Salad dressing versus salc kosi or mayonnaise.
In Armenia Ġarsi khorovats, aurma or in the Armenian diaspora, "Tarna" (literally, "it turns"); it is usually lamb, pork or chicken on a vertical rotisserie, sliced and wrapped in Armenian flatbread called Lavash, served with tahini, yogurt or garlic sauce and enjoyed with a savory side of Armenian pickled vegetables called "Tourshi."
Doner kebab shops can be found in all cities across Austria. Kebabs (rarely referred to as "Döner") outsell burgers or the traditional Würstel (sausage) stands. The range of doner is similar to other German speaking countries, but one is more likely to find a chicken kebab in central Vienna than lamb or beef kebab.
Doner kebab restaurants and food stands can be found in almost all cities and smaller towns in Belgium. The variety served is similar to that of Germany and the Netherlands. However, it is not uncommon to see doner 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 fries are still the most common Belgian fast food. 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. Belgians are renowned for mixing 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 stands are a common sight in Bulgaria. The Doner kebap or Dyuner (Дюнер) is widely made of chicken meat, and its wrapped in a flatbread or Turkish wrap. It consist a wide variety of salad choices most commonly used are tomatoes, chopped lettuce, onions, hot peppers, cabbage and cucumbers. Rice and bean salads are offered along the coastline. In recent years the use of French fries has become a popular ingredient. It is served with yoghurt-mayonnaise based garlic sauce, with ketchup or mayonnaise on demand, and hot spices. Its a widely adopted fast food choice, and there are a number of venues that specialize in the Greek, German and Turkish styles of Doner kebabs in the capital.
In growing number of cities in Croatia doners are becoming extremely popular. Called simply, kebab (kebabi plu.) got a lot of attention over the past few years with number of consumers constantly rising. In bigger cities such as Zagreb, Split, Osijek and Rijeka doner stands can be easily found. Cost of a usual doner kebab in Croatia varies from town to town, although average price is around 20 kuna (2.75) with special and extra ingredients such as ketchup, mayonnaise, pepper, salt or different sorts of salad coming free of charge. Common ingredients are: Beef or chicken meat, salad, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, yogurt sauce.
In Denmark, doner kebabs are sold under a variety of names depending on the doner salesman's ethnic background. In Copenhagen, doners are usually sold as shawarma, or simply kebab, whereas it is sold as guss in other parts of the country. Doner kebab was first introduced to Denmark in 1981 by Turkish migrant workers, and has since become a staple. The meat would typically be beef, rather than lamb. Doner is typically served with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream dressing and chili oil either in a pita bread, or as a dürüm. Kebab is also served on pizza along with lettuce and créme fraiche or garlic dressing.
A plate of doner kebab in Kamppi, Helsinki
In Finland, kebabs have gained a lot of popularity since Turkish immigrants opened restaurants and imported their own traditional food (albeit modified to suit Finnish taste as in Germany, e.g. replacing lamb with beef in most cases). This popularity is apparent when perusing choices of cuisine, especially in larger cities. Kebab foods are generally regarded as fast food, often served in late-night restaurants also serving pizza. However, recently kebab restaurants have begun to appear in shopping malls and in the form of proper high street restaurants as well. There are at least 1122 currently active restaurants that serve kebab foods in Finland. Furthermore, there is on average one kebab restaurant for every 5222 people in mainland Finland. Beef is predominantly used instead of lamb because Finns are familiar with the taste and consume beef significantly more than lamb, which also means that it is cheaper and more readily available. Some doners can be a mix of lamb and beef. Unlike in Central Europe, where kebabs are made from whole cuts of meat, practically all available kebab in Finland is made from ground meat. Often restaurants do not prepare the meat themselves, but use processed ready-made pieces instead.
France: Most kebab shops (themselves known simply as kebabs) are generally run by Turkish or 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 chips, often stuffed into the bread itself. This variation is called Doner grec ("Greek kebab"). Other variations include turkey, chicken, veal, beef, falafel or sausage, and replacing the Turkish bread with pita bread or baguette.
A version developed to suit German tastes by Turkish immigrants in Berlin has become one of Germany's most popular fast food dishes. Annual sales in Germany amount to 2.5 billion euros. Veal and chicken are widely used instead of lamb, particularly by vendors with large ethnic German customer bases, for whom lamb is traditionally less preferred.
Döner, common German style (Berlin)
Döner kebab in a dürüm
Typically, along with the meat, a salad consisting of chopped lettuce, cabbage, onions, cucumber, and tomatoes is offered, as well as a choice of sauceshot sauce (scharfe Soße), herb sauce (Kräutersoße), garlic sauce (Knoblauchsoße), or yogurt (Joghurtsoße). The filling is served in thick flatbread (Fladenbrot) that is usually toasted or warmed. There are different variations on the döner kebab, one of which is kebab mit pommes. This is similar to an ordinary döner kebab, except that it has French fries instead of the salad. 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 (Türkische Pizza). When plain dough is used (without the typical Lahmacun spices and minced meat) the rolled kebab is called "dürüm döner" or "döner yufka".
Tarkan Tasyumruk, president of the Association of Turkish Doner 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, Tasyumruk stated that 'Annual sales in Germany amount to 2.5 billion euros. That shows we are one of the biggest fast-foods in Germany'. In many cities throughout Germany, "Döner" (as it is usually called) is at least as popular as hamburgers or sausages, especially with young people.
Germany's large Turkish minority is probably the biggest reason for the widespread sale of döner kebab sandwiches there: from the late 60s on, large numbers of Turks were invited to come to Germany as guest workers, to fill a then acute labour shortage caused by the Wirtschaftswunder after the war. Most 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. The link between Turks and döner kebab shops in Germany is so strong that the wave of neo-Nazi murders of immigrants that took place there in 2000-2006 was dubbed the "döner murders" by the German press.
In Greece, Doner Kebab is called gyros. The most common form of gyros is prepared with pork, due to its broad availability and low price in Greece. The name comes from Greek γύρος ("turn"), a calque of the Turkish name döner kebap; the dish was formerly called ντονέρ [doˈner] in Greece as well. Today, ντονέρ refers to gyros prepared with lamb or beef.
Doner kebabs are very popular in Hungary but are usually referred to as gyros- even some Turkish restaurants use the Greek term. It is served in two main forms: in a sandwich (2) or on a plate (34). French fries or pasta are only part of the plate version. The meat is beef, chicken or lamb (the latter is a rarity), and the more popular sandwich version is usually served with lettuce, tomatoes, sliced onion and with some kind of a yoghurt sauce (which should be tzatziki in gyros, but it usually has nothing to do with tzatziki) and a mildly hot sauce made of red paprika. Kebabs are widespread in smaller cities and holiday spots as well, and are usually made by locals. Turkish kebab shops are only widespread in Budapest. Kebabs became popular in the 1990s.
In Dublin, increasing numbers of Turkish immigrants have led to growth in the number of late-night kebab eateries, popular with party-goers and evening revellers in the city centre. Kebabs are often eaten as take-away food after a night out. Owing to demand for late night food in the city centre, large businesses, such as Abrakebabra, remain open very late. Some businesses apply a surcharge to food purchased later at night.
Doner is very popular in Italy, especially among Moroccan immigrants and young people, including students and bargoers in many major cities. The most common toppings are cabbage, lettuce, tomato, onions, hot pepper relish, spiced yogurt, tzatziki, and harissa sauce; a kebab with all the said toppings is referred to as a "complete kebab" (kebab completo). Other common toppings include mayonnaise, ketchup, and French fries. It is also possible to get the kebabs without bread in a small foil bowl with all of the toppings over rice. It is referred to as "kebab". The average price of a doner kebab sandwich in Italy is 3.5.
Turkebab Restaurant in Riga, Latvia.
Doner kebabs have started to gain popularity in Latvia as well. Turkebab restaurant chain, owned by Turkish immigrants, successfully opened their second restaurant in Riga. Other private kebab restaurants are run by locals, Egyptians, and Turks.
Lithuania: Introduced in the 2000s, doner kebabs exploded in popularity. They are usually sold from small kiosks and carts. Most popular are ones served in lavash bread (Dürüm), though pita bread is also used. The cabbage is the most often used vegetable, along with salad, tomato, bell pepper and cucumber, with a variety of sauces.
Doner kebab is very popular in the Netherlands among all populations. As a snack, it is usually served in or with a pita as a "broodje döner" (doner sandwich) with lettuce, onion, tomato slices and sauces, mainly garlic and sambal. It is widely available.
In the last few years[when?] a new form of serving is increasing in popularity. The 'kapsalon', from Rotterdam, is a metal tray filled with French fries with a layer of doner (sometimes a layer of sauce) over them, topped by a layer of young cheese. This goes into the oven until the cheese melts. Then a freshly sliced salad is put on top of that. The kapsalon is finished with a large amount of garlic sauce and a bit of sambal. The name kapsalon is the Dutch word for a hairdresser's salon. A hairdresser from Rotterdam working next to a doner stand snack bar wanted to combine the best of both worlds and came up with the idea of the kapsalon. Kapsalon is typically a food mostly served in the Randstad metropolitan area.
The Dutch television programme, Keuringsdienst van Waarde, analyzed doner kebab sandwiches and found out that only one of the analyxed kebab sandwiches contained 100% lamb meat, while most consisted of mixes of lamb and beef. Others consisted of 100% beef, chicken, turkey or pork.
In Norway, the kebab was introduced by Turkish and Arab immigrants during the 1980s. It soon became a very popular meal after a night out, gaining 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, Arabic, Persian and Punjabi languages is sometimes referred to as "Kebabnorsk" (Kebab Norwegian).
The kebabs in Norway are served in a variety of ways, commonly in fast-food shops selling both hamburgers and kebabs. The kebab roll has become increasingly popular, with the kebab 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 whalemeat kebab sold at the Inferno Metal Festival. As of 2008, the average price of the kebab in Norway lies around 65 kroner, or about 8. In Bergen the average price of a kebab is around 50 kr. In Bergen kebab is most commonly served in the dürüm variety, with two types of sauces, one standard and one optional hot chili variety.
The Norwegian Food Safety authorities have issued a warning about 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 stringent Norwegian food safety laws and regulations.
In Poland the kebab bars are spread mostly in major cities, but it is still considered one of the most, if not the most popular fast foods for 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 78 zł (22.5) and includes pita or thick bread, meat with onion, the aforementioned salad and a 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 also serve 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 23 hours a day, every day of the week, they 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.
In Portugal kebabs are fairly recent. The most common kebab in Portugal is served in thick pita bread. Common ingredients are salad, onion, tomato, fresh cheese and sauce.
In Romania, doner kebab and its locally widespread variant, the shaworma, have gained much popularity over the past decade. So much so that shaworma has become a staple food of the young generation.
In Russia doner kebab is usually called shaurma (Central Russia) or shawerma (North-West). It is widespread and is usually made in booths or small cafes. There are two basic types: in pitah (a type of bun) or in lavash (thin round cake, in which it is packed). Types of meat from which it is usually made are chicken and pork. Other meat is seldom used for doner. Typical recipe includes meat, cabbage and/or carrot salad, cucumbers and/or tomatoes and two types of sauces: ketchup and a type of spicy youghurt. Doner production in Russia is usually subject of a small business, which is most usual owned by Caucasus or Middle Asia migrants. There is especially large number of such booths near railway stations and markets. Shaurma is a very popular meal for students and people who have to eat "on the go" due to its relatively low price. It depends on the region, in big cities it is usually a little higher, but in average one portion costs 1.5-2 Euro in booths and some higher in cafes. Shaurma can be served also in a plate apart from the bun and can be accompanied with French fries and vegetable salad. Most often it is consumed with light beer.
In Slovenian cities you can find many doner kebab stands that were spread across the country by immigrants from Kosovo and Bosnia. Some places also serve so called jufka kebab (dürüm). Common ingredients are: Beef or chicken meat (and mixed), salad, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, yogurt sauce.
In Spain, doner kebab is common, especially in Andalucía. It is often called chawarma, and one can find a kebab restaurant in Granada every 100 meters. The kebabs are served with chicken or veal and with salad, tomatoes, onions, olives, peppers, white sauce, and salsa picante (hot sauce). Falafel, French fries, and fried eggs are typical additions to a kebab. The average price in Andalucía for a kebab is 3 euro.
In Sweden, Kebab med bröd (Kebab with bread) can be found in the local pizzeria or specialised kebab/falafel shop. The word "kebab" is normally associated with doner kebab made purely from beef or sometimes chicken. It is quickly, along with falafel, becoming a popular fast-food alternative to the more traditional hot dogs and hamburgers, and are a popular late-night post-drinking meal, with kebab/falafel restaurants often being open late into the night. Other commonly occurring kebab variants are kebabrulle (a roll of flat bread, filled with kebab meat, salad, tomatoes, kebab sauce and sometimes fefferoni or sliced pickles), and kebabtallrik (a plate of kebab meat and salad with either French fries, rice, or mashed potatoes). Customers are typically asked what kind of sauce they want, the most common alternatives being "hot", "mild", "garlic" or "mixed", the latter being a mixture of all three. Most pizzerias sell Kebab Pizza, a pizza with kebab meat and the aforementioned sauces as a topping, now the most popular pizza in Sweden.
Doner can be found in cities across Switzerland. Of particular interest are the Doner stands in Dietikon. The doner vendors have popularised the grammatically incorrect way of asking if the customer wants the doner "mit scharf oder mit ohni scharf" (i.e. "with hot or with without hot"), "mit odr ohni sibele?" (i.e. "with or without onion"). These ubiquitous errors have entered the general usage of German in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany, and people do not react at all to this grammatical peculiarity.
Introduced by Pakistani immigrants, the doner kebab with salad and sauce is a very popular dish in the United Kingdom, especially after a night out. The typical kebab shop 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. 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 doner meat) and chips", typically including salad
Served as Doner/Chicken/Mixed Meat with (Grated) Cheese instead of Pita bread, not usually with salad unless requested
Served on a pizza base, known as a kebab pizza
Often preferred to be garnished with a range of sauces such as tomato ketchup, mayonnaise, chilli sauce, mint or garlic sauce.
Served in Pizza dough also known as a calazone with chilli and garlic butter and cheese .
The UK doner kebab often uses a different mixture of spices. Menus typically offer doner, shish (lamb, pork or chicken) and kofte kebabs, with a "special" including portions of each sometimes with bread and French fries or chips. "Doner meat" is often also offered as a pizza or burger topping in many such establishments.In Northern Ireland Doner kebab is most popular served on chips, Steak doner and house sauce is popular, while others prefer garlic mayonnaise.
Brazil: Doner kebab is one of the most popular fast-food dishes on São Paulo streets. It is usually served as a sandwich, and it is called "Churrasco Grego", which means "Greek Barbecue", or much less frequently Churrasco Turco (Turkish Steak). It is not associated with the kebab/gyro in fashion districts. It is served in Porto Alegre, Foz do Iguaçu where it is sold as Arabic fast-food. In the numerous Middle Eastern restaurants in Barranquilla with a large Arab population, shawarma is a light meal: other main courses have heartier portions.
Canada: A variation on the doner kebab known as "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 (sometimes called 'Halifax donair') 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 flatbread pita with diced tomato and onion.
The donair is very popular throughout the Atlantic provinces of Canada, and is also available in some other areas of the country, particularly Alberta and the metropolitan Toronto area, 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.In Atlantic Canada you can also find donair meat used in offerings such as donair egg rolls (an egg roll casing stuffed with donair meat), donair calzones/panzerottis, and in donair poutine (French fries topped with cheese curds, donair meat and donair sauce or gravy or a combination).
In the summer of 2008, after numerous cases of E. coli related food poisoning due to the consumption of undercooked donair meat in Alberta, the federal government came out with a set of guidelines for the preparation of donairs. The principle guideline was that the meat should be cooked at least twice: once on the spit, and then grilled as the donair is being prepared. Many Atlantic Canadian establishments already did this, however, some restaurants in Alberta omitted the grilling step.
In the Montreal region, chicken "shawarma" is often confused with chicken kebabs, known as "Shish taouk".
Cayman Islands: Doner kebab is available in Georgetown, Grand Cayman with a Caribbean flair. The meat is cooked on the traditional vertical spit, and the kebab is served on flat bread with a variety of sauces, including garlic and mango pepper sauce.
In Costa Rica, shawarmas have become popular thanks to a small restaurant in the entrance to Heredia owned by Lebanese immigrants.
In Ecuador, shawarma is a popular snack or light meal with vendors found all over the main metropolitan areas specially Urdesa, Guayaquil and La Mariscal, Quito. They were introduced by the Middle Eastern immigrant population.
Tacos al pastor being cut from the spit
A similar dish is served in Mexico known as tacos al pastor or "tacos de trompo". The cooking is different from that of the kebab. The meat is cooked and then sliced into a corn tortilla. They can be found all over Mexico, especially in street corners. They are not new to Mexico, and it is unknown if there is a direct relationship with the Turkish Kebab. In Puebla, this was introduced by the numerous Middle-Eastern immigrants, mostly from Lebanon and Syria, but also Turkey and Iraq, in the early 1920s. Since then, it has become a traditional dish of the city, locally known as taco árabe, "Arabian taco", sold in taquerías orientales, "[Middle-]Eastern taco stands". Nonetheless, it is now usually made with pork and served either in pitas locally called pan árabe, "Arabian bread", leavened bread locally called torta árabe, "Arabian baguette", also called cemita, or simply in flour tortillas. It is usually accompanied tahini and labneh locally called jocoque even though the skhug (or kharif) has been replaced with a thick chipotle-garlic sauce. In other parts of the country, most notably in Mexico City, the dish has adapted to the Mexican cuisine by replacing the pita with corn tortillas, in what is now called a taco al pastor, "Shepherd taco". Unlike a taco árabe, the taco al pastor is served with pineapple, cilantro, chopped onions and green or red salsa, and marinated with annatto sauce. Regardless of local adaptations, authentic middle eastern shawarma is available in the many middle eastern restaurants and kosher taquerias that cater to the large Mexican Lebanese and Mexican Sephardim communities. German style Doner Kebab can be found too but is not common, although is gaining popularity.
Plate of tacos al pastor being served
In some places of Northern Mexico, such as Nuevo Leon, Durango, Chihuahua, these are usually called Tacos de Trompo if served on maize flour tortillas, and gringas if they are served on wheat flour tortillas with cheese.
A similar dish is called Tacos Árabes, which originated in Puebla in the 1930s from Lebanese-Mexican cuisine. Tacos Árabes use shawarma-style meat carved from a spit, but are served in a pita bread called pan arabe. These tacos have been brought by Mexican immigrants to the United States in the past few years and have become popular in cities like Chicago and Los Angeles, the two largest Mexican and Mexican-American population centers in the United States.
Shawarma is known in Paraguay as a popular fast-food and it's called lomito árabe (Arabian steak), there are more than two chains fast-food restaurants that sells them as the main product with other typical middle-east food.
Americanized gyro meat, unwrapped
In the United States, doner kebab is not widely known, except in some larger cities with a strong Mideastern immigrant community, e.g., Boston, Detroit, New York, Leesburg, Virginia (near Washington, D.C.), Chicago, Seattle, San Diego, and Los Angeles. In contrast, gyros, considered Greek food, are popular across the U.S., and frequently are found at mobile stands as fair food as well as at Greek- and Italian-style pizza and sandwich shops.
Gyros were introduced to the United States via Chicago between 1965 and 1968.
Several people claim to have brought gyros to Chicago and been the first to mass produce them. George Apostolou claims he served the first gyros at the Parkview Restaurant in 1965. In 1974, he opened a 3,000-square-foot (280 m2) manufacturing plant called Central Gyros Wholesale. Peter Parthenis claims he mass produced them at Gyros Inc., in 1973, a year before Apostolou. In 1968, at The Parthenon restaurant, Chris Liakouras developed an early version of the modern vertical rotisserie gyros cooker, and popularized gyros by passing out samples free to customers. The vertical broiler was later refined by Tom Pappas and others at Gyros incorporated. Pappas would go on to develop the modern commercial recipe for gyros in the United States, achieving success as an independent manufacturer of gyros in Florida during the early 1980s, and popularizing it in the southeastern US (Orlando Sentinel, 1981).
They have since spread to all parts of the country, but the gyro is still identified as part of Chicago's working class cuisine.
The name gyros is most commonly used in American and Greek-American restaurants and stores. Doner kebab and shawarma may be seen in Middle Eastern-style establishments.
In the United States, gyros are made from lamb or a combination of beef and lamb. Chicken gyros are sometimes seen as well. The bread served with gyros in the U.S. resembles a Greek 'plain' pita. The traditional accompaniments are tomato, onion, and tzatziki, sometimes called "cucumber", "yogurt", or "white" sauce. Some establishments use plain sour cream in lieu of tzatziki sauce. Such sandwiches are often served in luncheonettes or diners.
While some Greek restaurants in America make gyros in a traditional way from sliced meat arranged on a vertical rotisserie, most, particularly fast-food restaurants, use mass-produced gyros loaves, of finely ground meat pressed into a cylinder and cooked on a rotating vertical spit, from which thin slices of meat are shaved as they brown. Some restaurants even sell pre-formed, frozen strips of ground gyros meat, grilled or pan-fried individually, to prevent waste. The ground meat forms of gyros are as different from traditional gyros as sausage is from solid meat, and the traditional gyro is usually considered to have better taste and texture than the mass-produced ground-loaf form.
In Venezuela, shawarma is commonly seen on the streets of major cities at food business stands. Shawarma carts have become as popular in Venezuela at food business stands as the common empanada. The same stands that sell chawarmas sell the vegetarian falafel as well.
In Australia, doner kebabusually called just kebabsare very popular owing to immigration from Greece, Turkey, the former Yugoslavia and Lebanon. Many consider them to be a healthier alternative to traditional fast food.
In Australian shops or stalls, Greek style kebabs are called souvlaki in Victoria or gyros, yeeros, or yiros in South Australia and New South Wales. "Doner kebab" is the Turkish name. Meat (beef or lamb) and chicken kebabs can often be found in Sydney and Melbourne where many suburbs have take-away shops that offer them. They are optionally served with cheese and a salad consisting of lettuce, tomato, onion, and tabouli on either pita bread (also known in some areas as Lebanese bread) or using thicker but still quite flat Turkish breads. These are sliced in half with the filling placed in between the slices, rather than wrapped, as is common with pita/pide breads.
The most commonly used sauces are tomato sauce, barbecue sauce, hummus (made with chickpeas), yoghurt and garlic sauce (Greek:tzatziki, Turkish: cacik) and chili or sweet chilli sauce. Doner kebabs in Sydney and Melbourne 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 in a sandwich press, which has the effect of melting any cheese, heating the meat and baking the bread so that it becomes crisp. It can also be served without toasting.
A kebab snackpack with lamb and chicken served with cheese and various sauces
An additional form is dominant in Canberra, 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 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 or paper sleeve. The main meats available are chicken or lamb.
Shops or vans selling kebabs are colloquially referred to as "Kebaberies" and "Kebabavans" in some parts of Australia. Kebab meat can also be found as a pizza topping in the western suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne, as a "beef pizza" or "Turkish pizza".
The "late night kebab" has become an icon of urban food culture in Australia, with kebabs often purchased and consumed following a night of drinking. Kebabs are considered suitable following consumption of alcohol due their high content of lipids (fats) which aids in metabolism of alcohol. Another variation found commonly in the western suburbs of Sydney are the "snack pack" or "meat box". This is a take-away box with a layer of chips, kebab meat and sauce on top. It is also common to add lettuce, onion, tomato or cheese on top.
Nowadays, the "dodgy kebab" often blamed for food poisoning should be a thing of the past. Ill feelings in the morning can generally be attributed to hangover. Since NSW food safety best practice recommended a second cooking of kebab meat, most stores have adopted this measure and it is now common practice in Australia. Second cooking requires that meat sliced from the doner is cooked on the hotplate/grill to 60 °C just before serving. Previously, "Dodgy kebab" meat was often sliced from the doner, including some not yet fully heated/cooked meat, at the time of ordering or meat that had been sliced and sat waiting at the bottom of the doner for indiscernible length of time.
Doner 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 an excess of alcohol. Health concerns surrounding doner kebab in the UK and Western Europe, including the hygiene involved in overnight storage and re-heating of partially cooked meat, unacceptable salt and fat levels, and improper labeling of meat used (e.g., illicit addition of pork), are repeatedly reported in the European media.
Wikibooks Cookbook has a recipe/module on
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Doner kebab
Cağ kebab, Horizontal Doner Kebab from Erzurum
Iskender kebap, doner served with tomato sauce and yoghurt.
List of kebabs
Shish taouk, a similar dish made with chicken
Doner Kebab in the world
List of sandwiches
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