Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Turin Doner Kebab - The Global Fast-Food Feast

Doner kebab. A global viral spiral delight.
World Wide Kabab
Kebap sometimes.
From a distance: the doner kebab.  Smell it yet?

Doner kebab, fast food, side street, Torino, Italy (Turin)

The new world's fast food - the doner kebab.

Kebabs can be meat bites threaded on little wooden sticks as we think of shish, kebab, or metal sticks; or this - a vertically roasted, rotating mutton-derived and pressed wonder, which is shaved before your very eyes, and served with a white feta sauce, tomato, lettuce, pita, add the fries, see  www://  The doner part means the rotation technique, the vertical merry-go-round of solid pressed meat, being shaved away, customer by customer.

Up closer. The doner kebap. Sometimes spelled with the "p".

Quick. In.

Doner kebab has even reached the eyes and ears and, yea, even the wagging tongues, of the New York Times - here an article on the doner kebab invasion of Milan.  See In Italy, Sign of Defiance in a Kebab and a Coke, by Elizabetta Povoledo at ://   Does size matter?  Where is the biggest one.  See ://

Doner Kebabs are also in Hanoi:  the banh mi doner kabab. Banh mi by itself means only "bread."  This Vietnamese variation is made of the big wad of shaved pork from the rotating machinery, pickled vegetables, and chili sauce, and a warm baguette. Turkish kebabs, on the other spit, would be "halal" or lamb or other meats, but no pork. See New York Times, November 8, 2009, travel section page 5. A banh mi iluke-bab boasts sprinkled cilantro and sliced red chiles. The Hanoi German variation on a theme displays a virtuoso pickled red cabbage and onions.

And Quebec. Search.

Common sense:  Food safety, storage, shipping, shelflife, street food conditions, manufacture of pressurepushedmanymincedmuttonedmysterymeatsmolded, same problems as anywhere. See :// /.  Still, delicious, except for the Doner King's variety.

It's the mesmerizing movement that gets you. Around and around and up and down.

So make your own:  

Look at gyro recipes for various sauces. 
  • Compare the doner kebab to Gyros. Greek gyro compared to kebabs. Gyros, as we understand them, are the Greek sandwiches not necessarily from the rotating vertical spit, and can be in chopped chunks.  See
  • Shaped kebabs:  a first recipe for the shaped minced mutton kebab, ground, in little meatball form on the little sticks, not the rotating Humungous Wonder.  Go to Mutton Kebab Cuisine, ://  
  • This second recipe: combines pounded and marinated lamb slices with ground lamb, and uses a "doner kebab broiler" or rotisserie, see
Compare the shaped mutton kebab to a Western meatball? 

Both use seasonings, but the kebab is minced, not ground as in the shaped kebab.  And it takes a lot of flour in the mix; and then the shaped muttonballs are fried, then skewered.  If your pot is big enough, perhaps you could skewer then fry.  Or do a quick broil after frying and then skewering so the stick gets charred a little. Mutton, the grown sheep, has a stronger flavor than lamb, and is tougher. The marinade in #2 would be important as a tenderizer if mutton is used..

Also enjoyed in Switzerland, see Switzerland Road Ways, Fribourg, Doner Kebabs; and in Slovenia, Croatia, Canada, etc. In Croatia, the process for cevapcici looks similar. Is it?

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