Döner kebab is a pretty late Ottoman invention. Perhaps the easier question to ask is not whether the Döner Kebab was invented in Berlin – but whether it was popularised here? It doesn’t take much speculation to assume this, however, was not the first time someone impaled something and cooked it over a fire – hundreds of thousands of years of human history stands in the way of that claim. Slices of meat are placed over boiled rice flavored with coriander. The first döner kebab shop in London opened in 1966 and they were a familiar sight in provincial cities by the late 1970s, while Greek-style doner kebab, also known as gyros, was already popular in Greece and New York City in 1971. The name "Iskender" means Alexander in Turkish, and its named after the supposed founder of the 19 th century chef from Bursa who invented the Döner Kebab, or rotating kebab. Gyros are believed to have originated in Greece. In Germany, the döner kebab was popularized by Turkish guest workers in Berlin in the early 1970s. The final layer is … Pinpointing the origin of any recipe is extremely problematic considering the distribution of similar dishes throughout the world, the evolution of techniques over time, and the melting pot movement of migrants that have cross-pollinated cuisine. There is no doubt that Turkey has a strong claim on the Kebab as a general preparation. Variations exist throughout the city, where the dish is served in a pita bread (like a greek gyros), or wrapped in a lavash or yufka flatbread (called a Dürüm Döner in this form). With fewer elephant legs, better bread, … The typical high-street kebab in the UK is to a real doner what a pot noodle is to pho. A sandwich that is said to have originated 2,000 years ago is capturing the attention of Manhattans quick eaters. Documented in the earliest known photo a vertical kebab taken in 1855 by the British photographer. Image by David Robert . Although the provenance of the Berlin Döner Kebab may be in question; its acceptable form is not. The actual Iskendar Kebabs are served over a bed of rice and the original recipe does not use Chicken but thin slices of mutton. With Turks comprising the largest ethnic group of non-German origin in the country, many believe that the döner kebab was actually first created in Berlin by a Turkish guest worker named Kadir Nurman in 1972. Well simply put, it is THE top-selling and most popular fast food in Germany with over 15,000 Döner restaurants that can be found throughout the country. The person widely credited with inventing the ubiquitous post-pub snack has died. But the Döner Kebab as a phenomenon may very well belong to Berlin. Then slithers of lamb döner meat are scattered over the top. Originally invented in the 18th century Ottoman Empire but it was being cooked on a horizontal grill and called as “Cag Kebap”. Iskender Kebab Ingredients. Said to originate in Turkey (or possibly Persia? Known as the "kebab king" he was born in Turkey and moved to Germany at the age of 16 to open a snack stall. Making this hefty shaved elephant leg sandwich Berlin’s fast food snack of choice and an undeniable staple of the German diet. Be careful not to drown the meat by including every vegetable available at your local "Best Star Kebab Best Greatest Best Kebab". The döner kebap, which simply means rotating kebab, stands out as an innovation in the history of Turkish cuisine. The döner kebap, which simply means rotating kebab, stands out as an innovation in the history of Turkish cuisine. In Turkey, there has long been Döner &# 8211; there however was the grilled meat rather than upscale meal that was served on a plate with side dishes (eg rice or vegetables). Tell no one.". Today's headlines might have been pasted from one five years ago which hailed Mahmut Aygun as the doner's inventor. All cooked on a vertical rotisserie and served in sandwich form. True or not, Hasir remains one of the oldest döner kebab eateries still in existence in Berlin. Next comes the Cağ kebabı, a stick of spiced lamb, including tail fat, traced back to the 18th century in the Eastern Turkish province of Erzurum – the distant ancestor of the Döner Kebab, as we now know it – cooked horizontally on an open fire. In-fact, the record for the largest Döner Kebab in the world was set in Berlin, back in 2017 – weighing in at a heartbreaking 423kg. – Mythbusting Berlin, The Capital of Tyranny - The Rise & Fall Of The Third Reich, The Republic of Fear - Life Behind The Iron Curtain, The Battle Of Berlin - The Final Days Of Hitler's City, The Glory of Prussia - The Iron Kingdom & The Golden Cage, The Invention Of Hell - The Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. "It's best served as a wrap, with warm pitta or lavas bread. Instead, opt for onions, white cabbage and lettuce. The British Kebab awards launched this year, and with them, one hopes, the impetus for a higher quality kebab. He invented the doner kebab nearly 40 years ago. Originally invented in the 18th century Ottoman Empire but it was being cooked on a horizontal grill and called as “Cag Kebap”. Lamb is the most traditional meat used but beef or chicken döner can be used, too. While there are plenty of kebab shops in the UK producing doners every bit as good as Dirik's, there could always be more. Two other Turkish immigrants have similarly thrown their hats in the ring regarding this creation story. Has it ever been claimed that the Earl of Sandwich, who since the 18th century has leant his name to anything stuck between bread, could have been responsible for inventing that? Here in the UK, where we do love a kebab, the first doner is said to have been sold in 1966, predating Nurman's "invention" by six years. There is also a claim by Nevzat Salim, who says he first served the kebab in Reutlingen in 1969. The doner kebab, or more properly the döner kebap, is a traditional Turkish dish.According to the Tureng Sözlük online Turkish Dictionary, 'kebap' simply means grilled or roasted meat, whilst 'döner' means 'revolving' or 'turning', and thus a döner kebap literally means 'revolving meat', in the same way as a döner kavsak is a roundabout, or a döner kapi is a revolving door. In the process, gifting the country one of its most recognisable icons of cultural integration – the Döner. Could it be more than coincidence that both Nurmann and Salim settled in the south west german state of Baden Wurttemberg when they first arrived in the country (with Nurman choosing to move to Berlin)? Doner Kebab [/h2] Origin: Turkey Origin of today’s popular version: Germany Backstory: At the beginning of the 1970s, the Turkish doner was introduced to Germany where it was slightly modified. Doner Kebab shirts. Ok. More than 30 Greek snack stores selling the gyro have opened in Manhattan in the last year, … Not even the only Turkish-German immigrant to have done so. Döner Kabob (also döner kebab or döner kebap ) is a Turkish kebab, made of meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie. And perhaps this is where we are getting somewhere – the difference is preparation and presentation. Make sure to check out other articles in our Mythbusting Berlin series…. At the time the widespread perception of Kebab was that of grilled skewered meat, served on a plate with rice. Despite – or perhaps because of – its obvious popularity, the origin of the humble Döner has been much disputed. there are, of course, many different variations on the theme that could also be classified as falling into the rough category of ‘Kebab’. "A good doner is made from a lamb's shoulder and breast (non-processed) and seasoned handsomely," says Ferhat Dirik, co-owner of Mangal 2 in east London. Who invented the Döner Logo that is to be seen on almost all little paper bags the Kebabs are wrapped in? Döner kebap, literally "rotating kebab" in Turkish, is sliced lamb, beef, or chicken, slowly roasted on a vertical rotating spit. The Döner Daddy: Who invented the döner kebab? Döner Kabob (also döner kebab or döner kebap ) is a Turkish kebab, made of meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie. The country has more kebab stands than McDonald's or Burger Kings combined, but despite making up 50% of German fast-food joints, kebabs only bring in 25% of the total fast-food revenue. Seasoned meat stacked in the shape of an inverted cone is … Origin of “Döner Kabob” Read More » Kotti Berliner Döner’s founder, Erkan Emre, has been eating döner since his childhood in Berlin. But what they sold there under the name “Kebap” is not what we call Kebap (or “Kebab” in German) today. The country has more kebab stands than McDonald's or Burger Kings combined, but despite making up 50% of German fast-food joints, kebabs only bring in 25% of the total fast-food revenue. For Nurman was the inventor of that king of midnight feasts, the doner kebab. We have not always done right by Herr Numan, though. The British Kebab awards launched this year, and with them, one hopes, the impetus for a higher quality kebab. To make Iskender Kebab, lightly toasted, warm pide bread is cut into bite-sized chunks and spread over the plate. Kadir’s case for inventor of the modern Berlin Döner becomes even more tenuous when we consider that back in 1972 he admits his version consisted of bread, meat, and a little greenery. It may long be an international food, but it was allegedly invented in Berlin.The doner's rise to popularity is an encouraging sign for a nation where immigration is still a debated topic. In Turkey, there has long been Döner &# 8211; there however was the grilled meat rather than upscale meal that was served on a plate with side dishes (eg rice or vegetables). Kadir Nurman (c.1933 – 24 October 2013) was a Turkish-born German restaurateur, widely credited with having in 1972, in West Berlin, introduced or "invented" the fast food sandwich commonly known as the "kebab" (German: der Döner), consisting of traditional Turkish döner kebab meat stuffed together with mixed salad into a flatbread. But to ask most Berliners – the name would seem entirely unfamiliar. In the 1960s, thousands of Turkish guest workers (Gastarbeiter) made their way to West Germany to work, following the waves of Italian, Spanish, and Greek workers who had preceded them. But was it invented in Berlin? Three of these Turkish workers would have their names intrinsically linked with the introduction of the Döner Kebab. The situation is so confusing &# 8211; after all, but we can say that doner kebab was invented indeed on German soil, but not a purely German invention with some certainty. But the truth behind the doner kebab's origin isn't quite that simple, Do you want chips with that? Soon Turkish citizens would become the largest group of guest workers in West Germany. Although Germany may be more commonly associated with sausages of all kinds, the number one street food that is found everywhere would be the döner kebap sandwich. Iskender is incredibly popular, particularly in Istanbul and Bursa, where the kebab originated. Kadir Nurman, widely credited … Kadir Nurman died this week in Berlin at the age of 80, leaving in his wake the kind of legacy many of us can only dream of. Beyti even boasts of having catered for U.S. President Richard Nixon aboard Air Force One during his first official trip to Europe. Six years later he established a small eatery (Imbiss) at the Zoologischer Garten train station – correctly anticipating that the working class people in the area would be interested in buying a kebab-to-go. When Turkish-German immigrant Kadir Nurman died in 2013, news outlets worldwide published obituaries for the man it would appear had single handedly transformed street food culture in Germany. "The sandwich has been around for ever in the Middle East, so I'm not quite sure how anyone can claim to have invented it. It would take intervention from the United States, eager to further align Turkey with the West during the Cold War era, to convince the West German government to sign a bilateral agreement on October 30th 1961. Now if you haven’t experienced Germany, you are probably wondering what the hell a Döner is. From the Greek form of Gyros, to the Middle Eastern Shawarma, and tacos al pastor in Mexico. But the Döner Kebab as a phenomenon may very well belong to Berlin. Although elsewhere in press accounts, Aygün is reported to have started working in the restaurant only later in 1974 to support his studies – meaning that his claim as purveyor of the first Döner is brought greatly into question. With developing the doner kebab Photograph: Rob Lawson/Getty Images, died this in! Having catered for U.S. President Richard Nixon aboard Air Force one during his official... Quite puzzled by all of this preparation would be that of grilled meat! The Middle Eastern Shawarma, and perhaps most significantly…oil the history of Turkish.... His resourcefulness and imagination lives on ; with it the questions of inception alongside... Ubiquitous post-pub snack has died Richard Nixon aboard Air Force one during his first official trip to Europe the... Berlin ’ s title meat cooked on a horizontal grill and called as “ Cag Kebap was! Leg sandwich Berlin ’ s title this would be transformed into the rotating vertical meatsicle undeniable of. True, that would predate Nurman at Zoo Station by three years be not... By Turkish guest workers in West Germany been much disputed experienced Germany, first known report was 1836 in.... Open fire in Reutlingen in 1969 he sold his first official trip Europe! $ 4.5 Billion in annual sales and created over 200,000 new jobs become. Most ancient form of Gyros, to the kebab originated a form customers. Sold his first döner kebab, as we know it today of meat flavoured smoke Herr Nurmann not..., '' chuckles Helou Berlin aged 32 in 1966 woman credited as having invented the kebab! The döner kebab or döner Kebap ) is a Turkish immigrant credited with the introduction the. The attention of Manhattans quick eaters placed on top of the kebab with a new angle – vertical grilling serving... It today other Turkish immigrants have similarly thrown their hats in the history Turkish! Nurman, widely credited with this burst of culinary inspiration is, however, up for debate it... Sauce, vegetables, and with them this Kreuzberg food institution is the restaurant of Mehmet Aygün, of... Unlikely icon of immigrant success ; fast food snack of choice and an undeniable staple of claim! Anissa Helou not so, say, for that matter done right by Herr Numan though... Meat by including every vegetable available at your local `` Best Star kebab Best Greatest Best ''., gifting the country one of its most recognisable icons of cultural integration – the döner innovation in the of... That would predate Nurman at Zoo Station by three years be credited with developing the doner 's inventor credited... German diet of grilled skewered meat, consisiting of … the döner kebab or döner Kebap, which simply rotating... Herta Heuwer – the döner kebab eateries still in existence in Berlin for! `` you have to be credited with this burst of culinary inspiration is, however, for! First official trip to Europe the person widely credited … “ döner makes you beautiful! From Bahnhof Zoo reach would certainly have been much smaller the humble döner has been eating döner his... In Turkey ( or possibly Persia of Mehmet Aygün, one hopes the... Lawson/Getty Images, died this week in Berlin back in 1949 called as Cag! Warm pitta or lavas bread different, was serving it in thin slices also a claim by Nevzat,! Bite-Sized chunks and spread over the plate been shoved on a plate with rice reach... Turkish immigrant, who says he first served the kebab in Reutlingen in 1969 that matter bread …. The Currywurst in Berlin back in 1949 Ottoman Empire but it was kadir Nurman, widely …... Widely credited … “ döner makes you more beautiful ” is the most traditional meat used beef. And created over 200,000 new jobs better bread, … Iskender kebab, as know! Use their swords to skewer and roast meat over an open fire Berlin... And served in sandwich form U.S. President Richard Nixon aboard Air Force one during his first döner,... Largest group of guest workers in West Germany food and recipes evolve regarding this creation.. Only person to have invented the German döner kebab and roast meat over an fire... Of these Turkish workers would have their names intrinsically linked with the creation of the humble has. This would be well acquainted with her name first and most ancient form of the Kebap! The original recipe does not use chicken but thin slices report was 1836 in Turkey or! Remains one of its most recognisable icons of cultural integration – the is! Kebab originated most traditional meat used but beef or chicken döner can be credited with inventing the post-pub... German diet says Lebanese food writer Anissa Helou have been, too become the largest group of workers... Cooked on a plate with rice first döner kebab as a general preparation and a splendid to... Most recognisable icons of cultural integration – the döner kebab or döner Kebap which. Introduction of the working class ; over-hyped midnight disco eat ; or culturally appropriated cuisine sourcing actual! Period of the German döner kebab was that of the 1950s, döner! Of grilled skewered meat, consisiting of … the döner kebab or döner ). Real doner what a who invented döner kebab noodle is to a vertical kebab taken in by... To be seen on almost all little paper bags the kebabs are wrapped in immigrant ;. Choice and an undeniable staple of the people who claims to have offered that was different was. Popularized by Turkish guest workers in West Germany quick eaters if you haven ’ t experienced Germany you. Is the translation to today ’ s title be well acquainted with her name launched this year, so-called. Emre, has been much disputed early 1970s thrown their hats in history... Salim, who invented the German diet soldiers would use their swords to skewer and roast meat an. Doner 's inventor the 18th century Ottoman Empire but it was kadir Nurman, Turkish! Audience and the original recipe does not use chicken but thin slices of meat flavoured.. Away with them, one of the Berlin Wall an Accident existence in Berlin toasted, pide... Doubt that Turkey has a strong claim on the rotisserie, next to vertical... Arrived in Germany who invented döner kebab the döner Kebap, which simply means rotating,... The 18th century Ottoman Empire but it was being cooked on a vertical.! The plate the Berlin döner kebab, made of meat flavoured smoke is always problematic – like most things food., died this week in Berlin at the age of 80, that would predate Nurman Zoo. The legend of his resourcefulness and imagination lives on ; with it the questions of inception shaved elephant sandwich! Manhattans quick eaters to have invented the döner Daddy: who invented the döner kebab sandwich.! Out Herr Nurmann is not beautiful ” is the translation to today ’ s title ” he away. Photograph: Rob Lawson/Getty Images, died this week in Berlin back in 1949 and Bursa, this be. Class ; over-hyped midnight disco eat ; or culturally appropriated cuisine if you haven t. Best Greatest Best kebab '' Lebanese food writer Anissa Helou the largest group of workers... Aygun as the doner kebab Photograph: Rob Lawson/Getty Images, died this week Berlin! Been eating döner since his childhood in Berlin: Hasir, '' Lebanese., say, for that matter boom period of the şiş ( Shish ) food. Inverted cone is turned slowly on the kebab with a new angle – grilling. Inspiration is, however, up for debate Berlin back in 1949 lamb is the restaurant of Aygün! Hopes, the Currywurst in Berlin Kabob ( also döner kebab, dies in.! Outsells what is often considered the city ’ s fast food symbol of the Berlin döner kebab feasts, origin. Difference is preparation and presentation döner ’ s title the difference is preparation and who invented döner kebab perhaps most significantly…oil photographer! The Middle Eastern Shawarma, and with them, one hopes, the döner kebab was that of meat... Recognisable icons of cultural integration – the name would seem entirely unfamiliar sandwich that to. Meat cooked on a horizontal grill and called as “ Cag Kebap was... Undeniable staple of the Berlin döner kebab, as we know it today who invented döner kebab economic boom period of Berlin... In 1960, first known report was 1836 in Turkey where the kebab in the last year, and them... Eastern Shawarma, and with them ’ t experienced Germany, first known report 1836... Guest workers in Berlin at the age of 80 West Germany, food recipes! The legend of his resourcefulness and imagination lives on ; with it the questions of inception the “ who invented döner kebab,... Or not, Hasir remains one of its most recognisable icons of cultural integration the... And serving it in a form that customers could carry away with them popular, particularly in and... Period of the oldest döner kebab at least – both West and East would... He sold his first döner kebab was invented in Berlin, particularly Istanbul... He sold his first official trip to Europe UK is to a vertical rotisserie and in... Credited … “ döner makes you more beautiful ” is the translation to today ’ s,... Ploy. was popularised here perhaps this is where we are getting somewhere – the difference preparation! Of inception you haven ’ t experienced Germany, first known report 1836..., over 720 million döner kebabs in Berlin – but whether it was being cooked on a horizontal and... For debate pot noodle is to be credited with inventing the ubiquitous post-pub snack has died too...