Greeks in antiquity put chunks of meat on skewers and grilled them. Romans learned the techniques, used it, and continue to use it extensively in their trattoria (informal restaurants).
Today, many cuisines employ this technique, from Japan to Germany, from Iran to Canada, from Indonesia to Indiana.
Conquistadors brought the technique to South America, where people call it anticuchos derived from Quechua.
Souvlaki in Greek comes from Greek of antiquity, but in Athens it is called kalandi.
In some countries mined meat is used to wrap it around a flat skewer, but in general chunks of meat are used for skewered foods.
You can use round or flat metal skewers, or wooden ones. Make sure you soak wooden skewers for at least 30 minutes in water to prevent scorching.
For skewered foods, the best and most-flavoured imparting fuel is charcoal. It heat is intense and sears the meat to preserve moisture. Any type of BBQ can be used, but the food will taste less delicious than those cooked on live charcoal. Mesquite charcoal, originally from Mexico, can, and is used for a special taste effect.
You can use chunks of meat, marinated or not, or use ground meat, and wrap it around a flat metal skewer.
The human ingenuity has no limit with regard to ingredients used for skewered foods.
It all depends on the abundant availability of ingredients and their suitability for such a cooking technique.
In the Middle East, chunks of lamb, or ground lamb is used.
In North America, beef is the most popular skewered meat. Of late, people have started cooking chicken, some seafood, and vegetables.
You can use: chicken wings, cherry tomatoes with dried basil, scallops, suitable cuts of pork (shoulder or loin), meat balls (chicken, beef, or lamb), baby white potatoes, chicken skin, eel, quail eggs wrapped in sliced pork, smelts, chicken liver, squid, shrimps, chunks of green or red pepper, assorted vegetables (onions, scallions, asparagus, Brussels sprouts).
You can create specialties by marinating tough cuts of meat to render them more palatable, and enhance the main ingredient by employing any of the following – soy sauce, seaweed flakes, green onion cause, salt and pepper, mayonnaise, daikon saucee, sauce Hollandaise, wasabi and seaweed, butter, sauce Beurre Blanc, ponzu sauce, BBQ sauce, sauce vinaigrette, peanut sauce, teriyaki sauce, or sour plum sauce.
|Writer – Hrayr Berberoglu – E-mail – Read his books?
Professor B offers seminars to companies and interested parties on any category of wine, chocolates, chocolates and wine, olive oils, vinegars and dressings, at a reasonable cost.