Forget about bratwurst, currywurst and other kinds of sausages — doner kebab, or shawarma, has overtaken traditional German fast food as the country’s favorite snack on the go.
First brought to Berlin by Turkish immigrants in the 1970s, the grilled meat snack that comes wrapped in a pita bread with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, onions and different dressings, is now being sold everywhere in Germany from the Baltic Sea to the Bavarian Alps.
Students and late night revelers relish it as much as construction workers, children and foreign backpackers on a tight budget.
“We assume that doner kebab is the Germans’ favorite fast food by now,” said Yunus Ulusoy, an expert from the Center for the Study of Turkey in Essen, who has done extensive research on how the ethnic specialty conquered Germany’s culinary mainstream.
The secret behind the doner’s success story is not only its satisfying grilled taste, Ulusoy said, but also the big portions and its affordability — a regular doner in a pita costs only between (EURO)2.50 and (EURO)5 ($3.30 to $6.70).