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A German Spin on a Turkish Tradition You Should Try

A German Spin on a Turkish Tradition You Should Try • German Food - by Tourist is a Dirty Word Blog

When you think about German food, what comes to mind? Probably a pretzel, schnitzel, or sausage of some kind? One very popular street food and fast food item that has conquered German hearts in the past decades is the döner (pronounced sort of like dew-nah, or doo-nah).

In the 1960s, Turkish workers arrived in Germany to fill the demand for labor in a booming post-war economy. Many never left, started families and shared their traditions, one of which is döner. The döner, meaning 'turning meat', is a traditional rotisserie Turkish meat dish served with rice on a platter.

The German version of the döner was allegedly developed in Berlin by Turkish guest workers in the early 1970s by stuffing the döner meat into baked pita bread. It is typically eaten hand-held, burrito style, wrapped in aluminum foil to keep the contents warm. The pita bread is filled with roasted chicken (sometimes turkey or beef) meat, topped with your choice of lettuce, tomato, onions, cabbage, spicy chili flakes, and usually a garlic-yogurt sauce, which is to die for! This simple and quickly made sandwich is available for lunch, dinner, and after last call, making it popular with the party crowd that leaves the clubs right before the sun rises.

Different ways to eat döner, hand held in a pita bread, or open-faced without pita bread.

You can customize every döner to your liking, adding extra spicy ingredients (ask for 'scharf') or less of ingredients you do not like. Denise struggles eating it hand-held, so she orders it as a ‘plate’ style that is open-faced without the pita bread and eaten with a fork and knife. That's what we're showing in our photo above. In the shop photo, you can see a few of the other options, including the more traditional with the pita bread.

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Thank you For Reading! Denise & Sebastian | Photo by Irene Fiedler