The History of the Döner Kebab

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The History of the Döner Kebab

Kebabs are a very popular food option, both in Australia and in many other countries. For some, they are a culinary staple. Kebabs of some form grace the table at just about every meal. Roasting meat on a spit is commonplace, tradition even, and topping the meat with a range of crisp and creamy condiments is expected.

For others, kebabs are a comfort food after a drunken night out on Chapel or a quick, portable meal during a lunch break in Melbourne CBD. There are many types of kebabs catering to many dietary requirements and preferences, from vegan and vegetarian to halal and kosher.

But where did this infamous food get its start?

According to history books, kebabs as we know them were popularised in the Eastern Mediterranean as early as the 1800’s. Turkey is given credit as being the originator of the kebab, although many other cultures have their own variation.

(Take note of gyros in Greece or Shawarmas in Arabic countries.)

Early on, doner kebabs were set up horizontally (with meat cooking directly over a fire), but have since transitioned to vertical. Some döner kebabs are really heavy, weighing as much as 90 kilos! They can be comprised of lamb, beef, chicken or a combination.

Now, kebabs haven’t always been as common in Melbourne as they are now. You may be wondering how kebabs went from a niche, cultural dish to the hearty wrap that Melburnians know and love.

How did kebabs become “westernised”?

Most think that Mahmut Aygun (aka the “kebab king”) is to thank for this. He moved to Germany from Turkey in the 70’s and brought his love of kebabs with him. However, very few know that kebabs were introduced to Sydney even earlier!

In the 60’s, Tony Khater moved to Australia from Lebanon. After emigrating, he continued to cook up the kebabs of his childhood, then passing along the recipe to his family. They went on to open a Kebab shop in Queensland and the Australian döner kebab was born.

And now, in 2017, döner kebabs can be found all over Melbourne’s inner and outer suburbs. But none are quite as good as BBQ Villa in South Melbourne. That’s because, unlike some other kebab shops, we don’t sacrifice quality. We are committed to providing Melbourne with kebabs that are just as fresh and tasty as ever.

Kebabs for one, kebabs for all!

Whether you have recently moved to Australia and you are looking for a kebab that tastes like home, or you are new to the kebab scene and trying to expand your culinary horizons, our wraps are sure to satisfy.

And with the knowledge of everything it took to bring döner kebabs to Australia, you are sure to appreciate it even more! So if you have a kebab craving that can’t be fixed, visit us at our South Melbourne shop today.

2017-12-11T11:54:10+00:00 November 21st, 2017|Blog|