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Souvlaki

This article is about the Greek food. For the album by Slowdive, see Souvlaki (album).

Souvlaki (Greek:σουβλάκι, souvláki, ; plural:σουβλάκια, souvlákia), is a popular Greek fast food consisting of small pieces of meat and sometimes vegetables grilled on a skewer. It is usually eaten straight off the skewer while still hot. It can be served with or inside of a rolled pita, typically with lemon, sauces, vegetables such as sliced tomato and onion, and fried potatoes as a side. The meat usually used in Greek and Cyprus is pork, although chicken, beef, and lamb may also be used there and elsewhere.

Souvlaki
Souvlaki in Athens, known there also as kalamaki
Alternative namescetsyvlaki
TypeFast food
Place of originGreece
Associated national cuisineGreece
Main ingredientsVarious meats

Contents

The word souvlaki is a diminutive of the Medieval Greek souvla (σούβλα meaning "skewer") itself borrowed from Latin subula. "Souvlaki" is the common term in Macedonia (Greece) and other regions of northern Greece, while in southern Greece and around Athens it is commonly known[citation needed] as kalamaki (καλαμάκι meaning "small reed").

Pair of firedogs with slots for holding skewers, 17th century BC, Akrotiri.

In Greek culture, the practice of cooking food on spits or skewers historically dates back to the Bronze Age. Excavations in Santorini, Greece, unearthed sets of stone cooking supports used by the natives of the island before the Thera eruption of the 17th century BC; souvlaki was "a popular delicacy in Santorini back in 2000 BC." In the stone cooking supports, there are pairs of indentations that were likely used for holding skewers and the line of holes in the base allowed the coals to be supplied with air.

In Mycenaean Greece, "souvlaki trays" were discovered in Gla, Mycenae, and Pylos. The "souvlaki trays" (or portable grills) used by the Mycenaean Greeks were rectangular ceramic pans that sat underneath skewers of meat. It is not clear whether these trays would have been placed directly over a fire or if the pans would have held hot coals like a portable barbecue pit. Spit supports appear to "continue in use into the Early Iron Age at Nichoria." In Greek literature, Homer in the Iliad (1.465) mentions pieces of meat roasted on spits (ὀβελός); this is also mentioned in the works of Aristophanes, Xenophon, Aristotle, and others. In Classical Greece, a small spit or skewer was known asὀβελίσκος (obeliskos), and Aristophanes mentions such skewers being used to roast thrushes.

In the Byzantine Empire, the Greek author of the Prodromic Poems (4.231) mentions "the hot meat shops" of Constantinople providing clients with spit-roasting meat slices similar to souvlaki known as psenasis souglitarea.

Modern-day souvlaki was described by Gustave Flaubert, a French traveler, who observed Greeks "grilling pieces of meat on a bamboo stick" during his visit to the Boeotian countryside of southern Central Greece in 1850. However, modern-day souvlaki was not widely distributed in Greece until after World War II. Souvlaki skewers served as fast food started to be sold widely in the 1960s, after being introduced by vendors from Boeotia. The first known use of the word souvlaki in English was in 1942.

Souvlaki take-out platters
Chicken souvlaki pita served with a side of French fries in a restaurant in the United States
Gyros-style seasoned ground meat packed on a skewer and grilled like souvlaki in Athens

Kalamaki

Kalamaki (καλαμάκι meaning "small reed") is a synonym for souvlaki proper in Athens where the word souvlaki is used colloquially for any kind of pita wraps. Kalamaki can also be accompanied with vegetables such as tomato, peppers, and onions, and a sauce, with lemon wedges. There are some places in Greece where kalamaki is not connected in any way to souvlaki such as Thessaloniki; in these regions, souvlaki refers to the dish that in Athens is called kalamaki.

Souvlaki-merida

Merída (μερίδα) means portion in Greek. While souvlaki is eaten plain as a fast food, it is also served as a full plate, served with fried potatoes, vegetables, sauce, and quartered pita bread. Usually it consists of the ingredients of a souvlaki-pita (see below) laid out on a plate. Lamb is mostly used, but others can be used, such as ox.

Souvlaki pita

Souvlaki-pita consists of grilled souvlaki meat wrapped in a lightly grilled pita along with sliced tomatoes and onions, and tzatziki sauce, and fried potatoes on the side - though increasingly they may be added to the wrap.

In some areas, when chicken is used instead of pork, tzatziki and onions are replaced with a special yellow mustard sauce and lettuce. Other garnishes and sauces include, ktipiti, Russian salad, and melitzanosalata.

Corfu

In Corfu, a special tomato sauce is added to souvlaki, plainly called "red sauce" (κόκκινη σάλτσα).

Cyprus

Main article: Sheftalia

In Cyprus, souvlaki can refer both to the small chunks of meat on a skewer, and to the dish. It is made with a large pita that has a pocket-style opening. Into this is placed the meat (traditionally lamb or pork, more recently sheftalia or chicken), which in Cypriot souvlaki is cut into slightly larger chunks. Tomatoes, cucumbers and shredded white cabbage are the usual salad additions. Onion, parsley, and pickled green chili peppers are popular accompaniments, as are yogurt and tzatziki. Cut lemons are always included with souvlaki, as they are with all grilled meats in Cyprus. Lettuce is not traditional and is seldom used in souvlaki outside of tourist resorts.

Wikimedia Commons has media related toSouvlaki.
  • Pinchitos - Southern Spanish version of skewered meat.
  • arrosticini - Abruzzese Italian version of skewered meat.
  • Doner kebab and its variants, including the Arab shawarma, Greek gyro, and Mexican al pastor.
  • Shish kebab – Small pieces of meat grilled on a skewer.
  • Satay – Southeast Asian version of skewered meat.
  • Shashlik – Middle-Eastern version of skewered meat.
  • Tsukune – Japanese version of skewered meat.

Citations

  1. Georgios Babiniotis, Λεξικό της Νεας Ελληνικής Γλώσσας, s.v.; Andriotis et al., Λεξικό της Κοινής Νεοελληνικής, s.v. σουβλάκι, s.v. σούβλα
  2. Sophocles 2004, p. 1000.
  3. Hruby 2017, "Souvlaki trays", pp. 23–25.
  4. Eptakili, Tassoula (9 October 2015). "Prehistoric Gastronomy: Dietary habits of a long-lost era". Greece Is. Retrieved21 February 2016.
  5. Utilitarian terracotta object, Museum of Cycladic Culture, Akrotiri excavation artifacts, Santorini, Cyclades, Hellas (Greece).
  6. Gannon, Megan (8 January 2014). "Ancient Greeks Used Portable Grills at Their Picnics". Live Science. Retrieved5 February 2020.
  7. Aristophanes. Acharnians 1007, Clouds 178, Wasps 354, Birds 388, 672.
  8. Xenophon. Hellenica, HG3.3.7.
  9. Aristotle. Politics, 1324b19.
  10. Homer. Iliad, 1.465.
  11. Wright 1999, p. 333.
  12. Liddell & Scott 1940: ὀβελίσκος, diminutive of ὀβελός (obelos).
  13. Aristophanes. Acharnians, 1007.
  14. Dalby 2010, pp. 70, 225.
  15. Matalas & Yannakoulia 2000, p. 6 including footnote 8.
  16. "Souvlaki". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved5 February 2020.

Sources

Souvlaki
Souvlaki Language Watch Edit This article is about the Greek food For the album by Slowdive see Souvlaki album Souvlaki Greek soyblaki souvlaki suˈvlaci plural soyblakia souvlakia is a popular Greek fast food consisting of small pieces of meat and sometimes vegetables grilled on a skewer It is usually eaten straight off the skewer while still hot It can be served with or inside of a rolled pita typically with lemon sauces vegetables such as sliced tomato and onion and fried potatoes as a side The meat usually used in Greek and Cyprus is pork although chicken beef and lamb may also be used there and elsewhere SouvlakiSouvlaki in Athens known there also as kalamakiAlternative namescetsyvlakiTypeFast foodPlace of originGreeceAssociated national cuisineGreeceMain ingredientsVarious meatsCookbook Souvlaki Media Souvlaki Contents 1 Etymology 2 History 3 Variations 3 1 Kalamaki 3 2 Souvlaki merida 3 3 Souvlaki pita 3 4 Corfu 3 5 Cyprus 4 See also 5 References 5 1 Citations 5 2 Sources 6 External linksEtymology EditThe word souvlaki is a diminutive of the Medieval Greek souvla soybla meaning skewer itself borrowed from Latin subula 1 2 Souvlaki is the common term in Macedonia Greece and other regions of northern Greece while in southern Greece and around Athens it is commonly known citation needed as kalamaki kalamaki meaning small reed History Edit Pair of firedogs with slots for holding skewers 17th century BC Akrotiri In Greek culture the practice of cooking food on spits or skewers historically dates back to the Bronze Age 3 Excavations in Santorini Greece unearthed sets of stone cooking supports used by the natives of the island before the Thera eruption of the 17th century BC souvlaki was a popular delicacy in Santorini back in 2000 BC 4 In the stone cooking supports there are pairs of indentations that were likely used for holding skewers and the line of holes in the base allowed the coals to be supplied with air 5 In Mycenaean Greece souvlaki trays were discovered in Gla Mycenae and Pylos 3 The souvlaki trays or portable grills used by the Mycenaean Greeks were rectangular ceramic pans that sat underneath skewers of meat 3 It is not clear whether these trays would have been placed directly over a fire or if the pans would have held hot coals like a portable barbecue pit 3 6 Spit supports appear to continue in use into the Early Iron Age at Nichoria 3 In Greek literature Homer in the Iliad 1 465 mentions pieces of meat roasted on spits ὀbelos this is also mentioned in the works of Aristophanes 7 Xenophon 8 Aristotle 9 and others 10 11 In Classical Greece a small spit or skewer was known as ὀbeliskos obeliskos 12 and Aristophanes mentions such skewers being used to roast thrushes 13 In the Byzantine Empire the Greek author of the Prodromic Poems 4 231 mentions the hot meat shops of Constantinople providing clients with spit roasting meat slices similar to souvlaki known as psenasis souglitarea 14 Modern day souvlaki was described by Gustave Flaubert a French traveler who observed Greeks grilling pieces of meat on a bamboo stick during his visit to the Boeotian countryside of southern Central Greece in 1850 15 However modern day souvlaki was not widely distributed in Greece until after World War II 15 Souvlaki skewers served as fast food started to be sold widely in the 1960s after being introduced by vendors from Boeotia 15 The first known use of the word souvlaki in English was in 1942 16 Variations Edit Souvlaki take out platters Chicken souvlaki pita served with a side of French fries in a restaurant in the United States Gyros style seasoned ground meat packed on a skewer and grilled like souvlaki in Athens Kalamaki Edit Kalamaki kalamaki meaning small reed is a synonym for souvlaki proper in Athens where the word souvlaki is used colloquially for any kind of pita wraps Kalamaki can also be accompanied with vegetables such as tomato peppers and onions and a sauce with lemon wedges There are some places in Greece where kalamaki is not connected in any way to souvlaki such as Thessaloniki in these regions souvlaki refers to the dish that in Athens is called kalamaki Souvlaki merida Edit Merida merida means portion in Greek While souvlaki is eaten plain as a fast food it is also served as a full plate served with fried potatoes vegetables sauce and quartered pita bread Usually it consists of the ingredients of a souvlaki pita see below laid out on a plate Lamb is mostly used but others can be used such as ox Souvlaki pita Edit Souvlaki pita consists of grilled souvlaki meat wrapped in a lightly grilled pita along with sliced tomatoes and onions and tzatziki sauce and fried potatoes on the side though increasingly they may be added to the wrap In some areas when chicken is used instead of pork tzatziki and onions are replaced with a special yellow mustard sauce and lettuce Other garnishes and sauces include ktipiti Russian salad and melitzanosalata Corfu Edit In Corfu a special tomato sauce is added to souvlaki plainly called red sauce kokkinh saltsa Cyprus Edit Main article Sheftalia In Cyprus souvlaki can refer both to the small chunks of meat on a skewer and to the dish It is made with a large pita that has a pocket style opening Into this is placed the meat traditionally lamb or pork more recently sheftalia or chicken which in Cypriot souvlaki is cut into slightly larger chunks Tomatoes cucumbers and shredded white cabbage are the usual salad additions Onion parsley and pickled green chili peppers are popular accompaniments as are yogurt and tzatziki Cut lemons are always included with souvlaki as they are with all grilled meats in Cyprus Lettuce is not traditional and is seldom used in souvlaki outside of tourist resorts See also EditWikimedia Commons has media related to Souvlaki Pinchitos Southern Spanish version of skewered meat arrosticini Abruzzese Italian version of skewered meat Doner kebab and its variants including the Arab shawarma Greek gyro and Mexican al pastor Shish kebab Small pieces of meat grilled on a skewer Satay Southeast Asian version of skewered meat Shashlik Middle Eastern version of skewered meat Tsukune Japanese version of skewered meat References EditCitations Edit Georgios Babiniotis Le3iko ths Neas Ellhnikhs Glwssas s v Andriotis et al Le3iko ths Koinhs Neoellhnikhs s v soyblaki s v soybla Sophocles 2004 p 1000 a b c d e Hruby 2017 Souvlaki trays pp 23 25 Eptakili Tassoula 9 October 2015 Prehistoric Gastronomy Dietary habits of a long lost era Greece Is Retrieved 21 February 2016 Utilitarian terracotta object Museum of Cycladic Culture Akrotiri excavation artifacts Santorini Cyclades Hellas Greece Gannon Megan 8 January 2014 Ancient Greeks Used Portable Grills at Their Picnics Live Science Retrieved 5 February 2020 Aristophanes Acharnians 1007 Clouds 178 Wasps 354 Birds 388 672 Xenophon Hellenica HG3 3 7 Aristotle Politics 1324b19 Homer Iliad 1 465 Wright 1999 p 333 Liddell amp Scott 1940 ὀbeliskos diminutive of ὀbelos obelos Aristophanes Acharnians 1007 Dalby 2010 pp 70 225 a b c Matalas amp Yannakoulia 2000 p 6 including footnote 8 Souvlaki Merriam Webster Retrieved 5 February 2020 Sources Edit Bonanos Christopher 2005 Gods Heroes and Philosophers A Celebration of all Things Greek New York Citadel Press Kensington Publishing Corp ISBN 9780806536811 Dalby Andrew 2010 Tastes of Byzantium London and New York I B Tauris amp Co Limited ISBN 9781848851658 Gold David L 2009 Studies in Etymology and Etiology With Emphasis on Germanic Jewish Romance and Slavic Languages San Vincente de Raspeig Universidad de Alicante ISBN 9788479085179 Hruby Julie 2017 3 Finding haute cuisine Identifying shifts in food styles from cooking vessels In Hruby Julie Trusty Debra eds From Cooking Vessels to Cultural Practices in the Late Bronze Age Aegean Oxford and Philadelphia Oxbow Books pp 15 26 ISBN 9781785706325 Liddell Henry George Scott Robert 1940 A Greek English Lexicon Oxford Clarendon Press Matalas Antonia Leda Yannakoulia Mary 2000 Greek Street Food Vending An Old Habit Turned New In Simopoulos Artemis P Bhat Ramesh Venkataramana eds Street Foods Basel Switzerland Karger pp 1 24 ISBN 9783805569279 Sophocles Evangelinus Apostolides 2004 1888 Greek Lexicon of the Roman and Byzantine Periods From B C 146 to A D 1100 Athens Pelekanos Books ISBN 9789604007257 Wright Clifford A 1999 A Mediterranean Feast New York William Morrow ISBN 9780688153052 External links Edit How to Cook Like a Mycenaean Archaeology Magazine Archaeological Institute of America 9 January 2014 Retrieved 5 February 2020 Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Souvlaki amp oldid 1049750263, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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