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This article is about the Turkish dish.
Not to be confused with Kebab.
Döner kebab (/ˈdɒnər kəˈbæb/, /ˈdoʊnər/; Turkish: döner or döner kebap, [døˈnɛɾ̝̊ ceˈbap]) is a Turkish dish made of meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie, normally lamb but also a mixture of veal or beef with these, or sometimes chicken.
The sliced meat of a doner kebab may be served wrapped in a flatbread such as lavash or pita or as a sandwich instead of being served on a plate. It is a common fast-food item not only in Turkey but also in the Middle East, Europe, Canada and Australia. Seasoned meat in the shape of an inverted cone is turned slowly against a vertical rotisserie, then sliced vertically into thin, crisp shavings. On the sandwich version, the meat is generally served with tomato, onion with sumac, pickled cucumber and chili.
Before taking its modern form, as mentioned in Ottoman travel books of the 18th century, the doner used to be a horizontal stack of meat rather than vertical, probably sharing common ancestors with the Cağ Kebabı of the Eastern Turkish province of Erzurum. Such horizontal skewers of grilled meat have a very ancient history in the Eastern Mediterranean region, with evidence of use of firedogs (stone sets of barbecue for skewers) from the 17th century BC in Minoan Akrotiri (Santorini), as well as use by Mycenaeans, and references byHomer, and Aristotle.
In his own family biography, İskender Efendi of 19th century Bursa writes that “he and his grandfather had the idea of roasting the lamb vertically rather than horizontally, and invented for that purpose a vertical mangal”. Since then, Hacı İskender is known as the inventor of Turkish döner kebap. With time, the meat took a different marinade, got leaner, and eventually took its modern shape.