The doner kebab, also spelled as döner kebab, originates from Turkey and consists of meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie. The seasoned meat is stacked in the shape of an inverted cone and slowly roasted on the rotisserie alongside a vertical cooking element.
The popularity of the doner kebab has witnessed a remarkable surge. In Paris, for instance, there are now more than 550 doner kebab shops.
Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, these savory treats are available in a staggering 17,000 businesses. In Germany, known as the European heartland of the doner kebab, a staggering 2 million kebabs were consumed daily in 2017.
The Most Popular Street Food in Germany
In Germany, the doner kebab holds the title of being the number one street food. This culinary sensation was born in 1972 when Turkish immigrant Kadir Nurman operated a food stall at the Berlin Bahnhof Zoo.
Observing the need for a quick, on-the-go meal for busy workers, he had a simple yet brilliant idea: packing seasoned döner meat and onion slices into flatbread.
Initially, Turkish immigrants found the concept appealing, as it resembled the flavors of their homeland. However, it quickly gained popularity among Germans, becoming a massive success that spread rapidly.
Today, Germany boasts thousands of döner kebab joints, and this industry is valued at billions of euros. The evolution of the doner kebab is evident; it has transformed from a sandwich into a complete meal.
720 Million Sold Every Year
The Center for Turkish Studies in Essen reports that there are more than 400 providers of kebab meat in Germany, serving a network of 12,000 outlets and providing employment for approximately 42,000 people.
Such is the demand for this humble yet delectable dish that the collective turnover of kebab outlets in Germany surpasses that of McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wienerwald, the German sausage vendor.
The annual sales of döner kebabs in Germany amount to almost €1.5 billion, with an astounding 720 million meat pockets sold every year.