VIENNA, VA - JULY 3: Zenola Mixed Grill includes butcher kefta, wood-fired grilled chicken taouk, beef kabob, Lebanese rice, whipped garlic and seasonal grilled vegetables at Zenola photographed in Vienna, Virginia on July 3, 2022. (Photo by Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post via Getty Images).
Food - Drink
Why Germany Is Called The ‘Kebab Capital Of The World’
Germany’s love of döner kebabs — not to be confused with simple skewered meat on a stick — began when Turkish Nationals came to work in West Germany as a part of a post-World War II economic reconstruction. An economic downturn made the Turkish people resort to selling kebabs, which became outrageously popular in Germany.
While two men named Kadir Nurman and Mehmet Aygun each claim to have brought the doner kebab to Germany, The Association of Turkish Döner Producers in Europe, or ATDID, says the credit goes to Nurman, who opened a stall in1972 in Berlin. Nurman offered meat sliced off a rotating spit mixed with salad, then tossed into pita bread.
While the original sandwich used beef, other fillings like chicken, lamb, and turkey eventually became options. The ATDID estimates there are 60 thousand people employed to sell doner kebabs in Germany today, with more stores in Berlin than Istanbul, and it all accounts for 2.4 billion out of a total of 3.5 billion euros in kebab sales.