Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Shaving shawarma

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See the man shaving shawarma off the skewer?
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(Sure enough, ABC Wednesday S-Day is here again.)
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The rotating spit is always placed at the front of the fast-food stand so the sight and smell will draw you to the counter to order this ubiquitous street food.
The sizzling meat can turn around for a whole day.
The Arabic word shawarma comes from the Turkish word çevirme [tʃeviɾˈme], which means "turning." I suppose the Greek version, gyros, means the same.
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Sometimes chicken or turkey is stacked with lamb, but here in the photo they have two separate skewers.
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The shaved meat is stuffed in a pita or wrapped in a lafa along with salads, tehina or humus, and even French fries.
Spices on the meat make it scrumptious.
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Similar but different is the döner kebab (döner meaning "to turn" in Turkish) available in Europe, Australia, and now North America. It sustained me as the only meat I could afford when I lived in Switzerland.
Mahmut Aygun invented it in 1971.
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More about shwarma and doner kebab.
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UPDATE --
Thanks to daughter Naomi for this funny Armstrong & Miller video about the Neanderthal origins of shwarma!
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25 comments:

ben wideman said...

My whole mouth just filled with saliva. YUM!

Reader Wil said...

That's a very good choice for "S"! It looks delicious!

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

You are making me hungry! Yummy yummy gyros/shawarma!

Winchester Daily Photos said...

I've seen these before. I always wonder if the get down to the centre or just keep slapping on bits of meat!

Spiderdama said...

Mm, thats good! They make some good in Oslo! But not here, because they use lamb,scary meat, hehe:-)

VioletSky said...

mmmm good.
I lived on shawarma when I lived in Holland!

RuneE said...

I have just made a Salad - that should fit in nicely? :-)

Anonymous said...

Most everything I LOVE about Israel excepting schwarma. No way. No How. Nice photo though!!!

Meryl said...

Love shwarma!

Roger Owen Green said...

I get a gyro prepared that way!
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Rob and Mandy said...

You're right, gyros means turning in Greek. You can find it in all the words finishing or starting with -gyre-.
Thanks for your post. Didn't know that someone actually invented doner kebab. And I lived in Turkey!

Kay L. Davies said...

Oh, it looks delicious, Dina. Lots of the letter S, too.
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Francisca said...

A scrum-dilly-lish S, Dina!

Cloudia said...

now I am hungry!



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Greensboro Daily Photo said...

Sometimes the best and longestlasting inventions are something simple! Love the word origins.

hocam said...

Mmmm...... I've only tasted doner and gyros. They're delicious.
Winchester, I've seen them slice right down to the end, and tell people it's gone. I've also seen an old lady come in from the market to warm her hands.

Oakland Daily Photo said...

My first exposure to Shawarma was in Paris in 1967. Though ubiquitous something about it being on the spit the entire day made it unappetizing to me. I should be more adventurous with food.

Hilda said...

It's become a very popular street food here too, but usually just beef. Lamb is available only in the more expensive Mediterranean restaurants.

Living In Williamsburg Virginia said...

Interesting way to lure in customers. Great post.

Darryl and Ruth : )

Petrea Burchard said...

Oh yes, this is delicious stuff. Something tells me it's especially good in Jerusalem.

Kay said...

I remember going to a Turkish counter in Australia where they were selling doner. I told them it reminded me of gyros. The fellow there pretended (I think) to be insulted and insisted I eat it and find out that the doner was much, much more delicious. We did and told him we liked it. However we really like our gyros at Hubs in Illinois.

VP said...

That was the only thing that I wasn't able to try when I was around there: I can't stand that smell...
And now they are all over here!

Shooting Parrots said...

I hadn't realised that the doner kebab had been "invented". Onde of my favourite feasts from our local fast food shop.

spacedlaw said...

Yum. A good shawarma is most excellent.

JM said...

Love this and I'm feeling starving now! :-)