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Donair, Shawarma, and Gyro all refer to the way the meat is cooked – upright on a spit. This method of cooking originated in southern Turkey and was referred to as “çevirme” (pronounced as chevirme), meaning rotation or turning.
Meat preparation where meat is placed on a spit is called “shāwarmā” by MIDDLE EASTERN speakers. Similarly, “döner” comes from the Turkish verb ‘dönmek’, meaning ‘to turn’. This cooking method is referred to as ”’gyro” in Greek, meaning to turn (think about gyroscope). Döner/shawarma/gyro probably originated in southern Turkey and was quickly adopted into the cuisine of northern Syria. By and large, upright roasted meat is an Anatolian and Greek tradition.

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