World Kebab Day
the second Friday in July
Food & Drink
Innumerable varieties of kebabs make categorizing them complex, but what they share in common is they are cooked meat dishes with origins in the cuisine of the Middle East. World Kebab Day celebrates these dishes. People share and eat kebabs with their family and loved ones today—they make their own or go to restaurants to enjoy them.
The first kebabs may have been cooked when soldiers grilled meat of recently-killed animals on their swords. Kebabs emerged from Turkish cuisine and were first mentioned in a Turkish text in the fourteenth century. The dishes spread around the world along with Muslim culture, and now are common in restaurants that serve Turkish, Indian, and Mughlai cuisines. "Kebab" means "to roast," and the meat used to make them often is cooked on skewers over fires, sometimes with vegetables, and sometimes eaten off the skewers. Ground lamb is usually used, but mutton, goat, beef, chicken, pork (if permitted by religion), and fish are also commonly used.
The two most common kebabs around the world, which have spread to Western culture, are shish kebabs and doner kebabs. In North America, a kebab is usually a reference to a shish kebab, while in other English-speaking parts of the world, a kebab is usually a reference to a doner kebab. Shish kebabs are made of marinated lamb that is placed on a skewer and flat on a grill. Marinades vary, but ingredients often used are lemon juice, olive oil, onion juice, yogurt, milk, cinnamon, oregano, tomato juice, and other spices. Shish kebabs are regularly served with grilled vegetables, yogurt dips, and salads. Doner kebabs are made from meat that is sliced from a rotating spit after being cooked. Sandwiches are made with pita and other flatbreads, with vegetables and sauces, in a similar fashion as shawarma or gyros.
There are many other types of kebabs besides shish and doner. Kebabs are regularly served with some type of bread and topped with onions and squeezed lemons. In Asian countries, kebabs are mainly served with rice and salad. With shami kebabs, lamb is cooked and then minced, while raw minced lamb is used to prepare galouti kebabs. Orman kebabi is made of roasted lamb, çoban kebabi is a roast of meat in the shepherd's style, and kefenli kebabi is a kind of roast meat wrapped in bread. A few other kebabs are seekh kebab, hacci osman kebabi, kushbashi kebabi, and kabarma kebabi.
How to Observe World Kebab Day
Make your own kebabs! Make doner kebabs, shish kebabs, or another kind. You could even host a kebab party! Another way to celebrate is to have kebabs at a restaurant! Go to a place near you, or, if you're able, to one of the best restaurants for kebabs in the world. Look for special offers at restaurants in honor of the holiday. You also could spend the day learning about some of the other many popular types of kebabs.