A New-Star History: The Doner Kebab

We are launching a new mini-series… looking at the history of certain foods we can feed you here at New Star Kebabs! In this instalment, we will look at the history of the kebab and how it came to be one of our favourite dishes today – and around the world! But first, we need to look at what a kebab was originally.

The Skewer

In the Middle East, approximately 800,000 years ago, humans began to use fire for cooking based on scientific findings in 2004. In Ancient Greece, Homer makes mention of meat roasted on spits. However, kebab dishes began their origins in Turkey and Persia during the medieval period. Back then, you would put small pieces of meat onto a skewer and cook it over a fire. Nowadays, this medieval practise is still so popular. Just goes to show that the kebab really is timeless. According to online sources, the Turkish man who first mentioned the word kebab was Kyssa-I Yusuf in 1377. Going forward into history, this type of kebab was then created in its own way across different countries to match their cuisines & taste-preferences. Primarily, it spread to surrounding Middle Eastern countries, to Africa, and then east towards China as well as north west to Bulgaria & Macedonia. Now we will look at how the skewered kebab turned into the mouth-watering and delicious Doner Kebab of today!

The Doner Kebab

Over time, things develop. The kebab is the perfect example.

After the meat is sliced into smaller pieces, the pita bread is stuffed with other ingredients and sauce. The Turkish Doner Kebab was invented in the 19th century during the fall of the Ottoman Empire. After its invention, the Turkish Doner Kebab inspired similar dishes in other cultures such as the Mexican al-pastor, Greek gyros, and Arabic shawarma. As you can see on the image attached to this post, there is hardly any difference to how kebabs are cooked today. Talk about popular and timeless foods! Walking home from the tavern at 3am eating a kebab was no different over 100 years ago. Let’s take a moment to appreciate the life and death of Mahmut Aygun; the man who invented the Doner Kebab and spread it from Turkey to Germany. You can read more about Aygun here. The year is 1965 and Australia was at an economic rise. But it wasn’t the Turkish who brought the kebab to Australia. In fact, it was Lebanese immigrant Tony Khater in Sydney. You can read more about this here. Over time, New Star Kebabs came to exist as the place you know and love in the quaint suburb of Auburn. Now you know a brief history of how the kebab evolved over time and came to sit right in front of you. < Are you considering eating at New Star Kebabs for your next dinner night out, date, work lunch, or any other event? Give us a call today on (02) 9643 8433 or email us at info@newstarkebabrestaurant.com.au