History of kebabs
This wasn’t just the year that England won the World Cup but also marked the opening of the first doner kebab enterprise in Newington Green, London. The cooking of a doner on a vertical spit was born in the UK.
With the arrival of Turkish, Greek Cypriot and Kurdish migrants, doner kebab outlets started to flourish.
A military coup in Turkey in 1980 brought a second wave of Turkish migrants to the UK, primarily made up of intellectuals, students, trade union activists and professionals. Initially many of these people found work in kebab houses and other retail outlets.
The number of British visitors to Turkey were estimate to be 716,000 per year by 1996 which further boosted the demand for high quality Turkish food on the UK high street.
Did you know?
“Kebap” – the Turkish word for kebab – is from kabāb, and can be traced back to a Mesopotamian word meaning cut-up pieces of pan-fried or flame-grilled meat.
The word “doner,” comes from the Turkish verb dönmek, or to turn, because it is grilled for hours on a rotating spit.
Most popular names for kebab outlets and restaurants are Shish, Instanbul, Best, King, Mangal, Charcoal, Marmaris, Turkish Delight and Diamon.
There are some 17,000 kebab shops across the UK.
The industry contributes some £2.8bn to the UK economy.
Kebabs are the 4th most popular takeaway in the UK.
2,000 tonnes of lamb doner meat are produced by manufacturers in the UK every week.
There are 200 doner kebab manufacturers in the UK.
1.3m portions of doner kebab are sold by outlets every day.