In Greece, the souvlaki is more than just a fast food. The souvlaki has its own story, is wrapped in baking paper and exudes the scents of the delicious pork and the traditional tzatziki.
The souvlaki first appeared in ancient Greece, since it was known with the name ‘ovelisk’ (from the word ovelisk = spit). It appeared among the works of Aristophanes, Xenophon, and Aristotle.
A simple recipe of small pieces of meat, nailed along a ‘torch’ with a slice of bread, not far from its present form, especially when we choose it as a ‘kalamaki’ with some bread, at the grill, the tavern or in the open and itinerant seller – after all, all you need is a rough rotisserie-.
A well known example is the reference in the Athenian work of Deipnosophistae , where Hegesippus at his ‘Opsartytiko’ (ie. The cooking guide he compiled) indicated a delicacy called ‘candaules’. Besides, similar references are found in Homer’s Iliad.
It consists of pork pieces past a small wooden skewer of stubble that are cooked. In this case, in southern Greece anyone can order one as a “kalamaki” which is usually served with a slice of bread. It can also be made from chicken meat, if combined with bacon, called “kotompeikon” or combined with pita. It is rarely made from lamb meat.
Except of the classic souvlaki, mainly in restaurants, bigger souvlakia are made usually on a metal spit (kontosouvli), which is served as a portion along with fries, salad and some sort of sauce. Sometimes in between the pieces of meat, there can be pieces of pepper, onion and tomato.
Souvlaki indicated as a “good nutritional product!” !
So if you are nostalgic of the very gourmet food, you will have a wholesome but also light meal on your plate with a healthy food certification. Indeed, recently the souvlaki won the certificate of ‘good dietary product’, under certain conditions, from the University of Nottingham. If the meat is lean and ‘clean’ (from specific parts of the animal), pita from wholemeal flour, the salt at its minimum and the tomato organically grown, without the other ‘added values’ such as french fries and oil, you can enjoy it without fear. Besides, the souvlaki either way, will always be your favourite souvlaki, that has cultivated generations of Greeks and not only.