Friday, July 27, 2012

A Quarrel about the German Döner

My earlier blog dealing with the German döner has some follow-up. The other day I read in the Badische Zeitung that it was Nevzar Salim in Reutlingen, Baden-Württemberg, who invented the German type of döner as early as 1969 whereas Kadir Nurman in Berlin up to now considered to be the father was only second in 1971. Now a quarrel is on between two Turks of a type the French have long called une querelle d'Allemand, a German quarrel. Maybe these two Turks are a good example of fully assimilated foreigners in Germany who simply cannot help quarrelling about a minor thing, as the Germans are known for in France.

©Der Spiegel
Here are the facts: The döner kebap - in Turkey generally served as a delicacy on a plate only about once a week - Kadir handed over to Turkish guest workers in a bun until Germans started to like the food and adopted it. In the meantime the grilled meat has come to be served in pita bread with salad, onions, and sauce and Turks working in Berlin have exported this German döner to Turkey with success.

Although Berlin is regarded as the döner capital Nevzat Salim said he was the first to serve döner at a stand in front of Reutlingen’s town-hall in 1969: In the beginning my father and I had difficulties finding pita bread so we served the meat (a normal bun being too small) in a double bun. Nevzat continued: I have a role in the long history of the German döner. I don’t want either a title or celebrity but what is right must remain right. Une querelle de Turk ou d'Allemand?

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