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Souvlaki

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Souvlaki (Greek: Σουβλάκι) or souvlakia is a popular Greek fast food consisting of small pieces of meat and sometimes vegetables grilled on a skewer. It may be served on the skewer for eating out of hand, in a pita sandwich with garnishes and sauces, or on a dinner plate, often with fried potatoes. The meat is traditionally lamb in Greece and Cyprus, or in modern times increasingly pork due to the lower cost. In other countries and for tourists, souvlaki may be made with other meats such as beef, chicken and sometimes fish (especially swordfish).

The terminology of souvlaki and its variants is confusing and inconsistent. Depending on the context, the term 'souvlaki' by itself may refer to any of the variants. In some regions and some restaurants, the name shish kebab is used to denote a particular variant of souvlaki (e.g. with vegetables on the skewer), but it is essentially a synonym. The word souvlaki is a diminutive of σούβλα souvla 'skewer', itself borrowed from Latin subula.

Souvlaki is attested in Greece since antiquity and it was known with the name ὀβελίσκος (obeliskos), dim. of ὀβελός (obelos), "spit", mentioned amongst others in the works of Aristophanes, Xenophon, Aristotle, etc. A meat and bread recipe which resembles the way pita souvlaki is served today, with pita bread was also attested by Athenaeus in Deipnosophistae and called the plate kandaulos. The skewed meat, kebab-like recipe, existed as a favourite in ancient Greece at Archaic times, as the earliest references are attested in Homer.

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References

Souvlaki, en.wikipedia.org

Greek Souvlaki (Souvlakia) (Shish-Kebabs), thursdayfordinner.com

Souvlaki: The Hamburger of Greece, athensguide.com