Monday, August 22, 2011

Döner, a German Food

Today I read an article in the Badische Zeitung about döner in Seattle sold at a stand called The Berliner. As such the Turkish dish made of (preferable) lamb meat cooked on a vertical spit and sliced off got a German flavor. The full Turkish name for this delicious food is döner kebap, i.e., rotating roast. A döner must not be confused with gyros that is widely known in the States.

Slicing meat off a döner kebap's grilled surface (Photo taken from Wikipedia)
As background information we read in Wikipedia: A döner 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.

Serving döner in Seattle is not easy for instead of the original lamb meat also here beef or chicken is stacked on the vertically rotating spit. The Turkish bread called pide accompanying the meat is unknown in the State of Washington. Thus Victor, the owner of the fast food, asked to have it specially baked. American Law requires that meat once prepared must be consumed within half a day, so Victor uses shorter spits to grill smaller meat quantities. The döner varieties he offers with sauce, salad, and pide are called The Mehringdamm or somewhat spicier The fiery Kreuzberg, named after places in the traditional Turkish quarter in Berlin. Still Victor's many ardent customers consider döner to be a typically German food. One enthused girl said when she learned that in Berlin there are döner stands on every corner: You Germans must be happy people.

Let me know when the first döner stand opens in Madison.

1 comment:

  1. I feel pangs of hunger just by looking at this food. Döner and Shish kebaps are probably the inventions of nomadic Turkic Tribes that came out of Central Asia in centuries past, and settled in Turkey. Just to identify this food's roots. ("Döner" and "shish" in Turkish are "rotating" and "skewered", respectively. "Kebap" means "grilled.")

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