The History of Döner Kebabs

In travel diaries from the 18th century, döner kebab is described as a dish from Anatolia, the eastern side of Turkey, consisting of mutton (lamb) grilled on horizontal rotating skewers. Traditionally, it was served on a plate with rice and a hot sauce with melted butter and ground paprika (more like an Iskender Kebab).

Today, döner kebab is typically served as a kind of sandwich or in tortilla-like flatbread as a “wrap.” This type of döner kebab has been available in Istanbul since about 1960. The döner kebab with salad and sauce served in bread, which is predominant in Germany and the rest of the world, was invented in Berlin in 1971, because the original preparation was not appealing enough to the German taste.

The döner has been the most popular fast food dish in Germany since the 1980’s and continues to gain popularity around the world.