The History of The Shwarma

The History of The Shwarma

When we think of shwarmas we think of delicious, tender slow-grilled meat served in a warm envelope filled with tasty condiments and salads. While the shwarma has been unjustly categorized as a fast food item, it is so much more than an exotic cousin of the sandwich. It is tradition and history wrapped in a gourmet treat.

First things first – what is shwarma?

Shwarma is a Levantine Arab meat preparation, when lamb, chicken, beef or mixed meats are placed on a spit (commonly vertical in restaurants, like the one you will see at your nearest Anat) and grilled for as long as a day. Shavings are cut off the block of meat when needed for serving and the remainder of the block is kept heated on the rotating spit. It can be served by itself on a plate, or in a pita or wrap. Toppings and accompaniments can include tomato, cucumber, tahini, hummus, pickles and fries.

Where did shwarma come from?

While the origin of the shwarma remains unclear, this tasty dish has been described as part of the traditional Levantine cuisine, which is popular in the Middle East and Mediterranean. This explains the delicious Middle Eastern flavours you experience with your Anat meals. While regional variations exist, the basics are all there. Culinary variations or similar versions can even be found in regions such as Northern Africa. In Greece, they have the gyro, and in Turkey they have the doner kebab – both dishes involve a similar spit grilling process.

Shwarma today.

The shwarma has transcended food fads and trends and is still popular today. The modern shwarma is now grilled using commercial gas or electric-fired rotisserie, but the basics are still there.

If you haven’t experienced shwarma yet, make your way to your nearest Anat for your first taste of this delicious dish. If you have, we’re sure that you love this dish just as much as we do. At Anat we offer our customers, lamb, beef and chicken shwarma, with the freshest pitas or wraps and all those delicious salads, pickles and sauces to go with it. Our own Middle Eastern flavours come through in the taste of the meat, leaving you wanting more!