GREEK SOUVLAKI SHOPS - SOUVLATZITHIKO
Greek Souvlaki has to be my all time, favourite fast food.
The Greek Souvlaki was always a very cheap way of eating in Greece, years ago a few drachma would get you a Souvlaki!
You will find Souvlaki Shops in every city, town and village.
They are filling, fantastically tasty and cheap. Rarely would you buy
Souvlaki to sit in and eat, you would buy and take away or eat as you stroll along.
Greeks from all walks of life, young and old
A Souvlaki is made up of meat - normally pork, cooked on a vertical spit, where layers upon layers of thin slices of meat are
speared with a skewer - souvla.
As the meat is layered it is seasoned with salt and pepper and some herbs and spices. The
souvla is then upended and placed in front of a vertical grill. The souvla slowly turns, cooking the
outer pieces of meat as it passes the grill.
The meat from this is called gyros (yee-ros)- which means to turn.
Although the grill used to be shelves of charcoal and the meat souvla would be turned by hand, this has now been modernised to
an electric turning spit and normally a gas grill.
As the meat cooks, pieces of fat in the meat melt and slowly baste the lower levels of meat, tenderising and flavouring them.
the meat is cooked, using large sharp knifes they shave very thin slices of the meat off the souvla, allowing the meat underneath to carry on cooking. The end result
is a wonderful, mouth watering, melt in your mouth, tastiest meat you've ever had.
To make up a Greek Souvlaki, first start with the pita bread. This pita bread is different in Greece to the pita bread found in other parts
of the world like in UK
or Australia. It is quite small, round and moist. It is not the type to split open and stuff, and you dont toast it. When you roll the pita up,
it doesn't crack or dry up like its foreign equivalents.
The pita is warmed on an oiled hot plate.
is spread over the pita, then they add thin slices of tomatoes and onions, the
meat and sometimes a few hot potato chips. Its then all tightly wrapped up, covered in a greased paper ready to hold and eat.
Pork is traditionally the meat cooked on a souvla, althoug these days you can get other meats at some Souvlaki Shops. Beef or
Chicken Souvlaki are becoming quite popular, especially among young Greeks.
With Chicken Souvlaki, sometimes they replace the tzatziki with
a mustard mayonaise sauce.
In some places the meat is
cubed, cooked on small skewers, the meat is then removed from the skewer and put into the souvlaki. This is called Kalimaki.
Another variation is a mincemeat mixture, made from lamb, a little like meatball
or burger mixure cooked on skewers.
These are called kebabs.
If you do decide to get Souvlaki and eat in, just be careful that the price is not bumped up too much. There are some Souvlaki
Shops, especially around Plaka that charge several times the price of a take away Souvlaki, just for the privilege of sitting within sight of the
You must try one of these when you are in Greece.
The Greek Souvlaki shop is called a Souvlatzithiko - sou-vla-tzi-thi-ko.
Try this Greek Souvlaki recipe to make at home.
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