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Global Eats: Meat Skewers of the World 🍢🌍

Global Eats: Meat Skewers of the World 🍢🌍

I know that I’m not the only one whose main reason for travelling is to discover new cuisines and cultures. Learning about how other cultures cook and work with food is something that gives me life. One of the things that excites me the most is when the same food item is cooked so differently across countries, and that’s what we’re on about here. 😏

You might have read our Around the World Series, but now we’re kicking things up a notch. We’re gonna go through some foods that are the same, but well, different, mostly in the way they’re cooked or served. Our first for this series is right in time for our beloved BBQ season: meat skewers. Let’s see what these look like around the globe, shall we? ✌️

Portugal: Espetada

The term literally translates to “sword meat” - a sword of meat! These beef skewers are marinated with garlic and bay leaves and grilled over wood. They’re also sometimes made with other meats, like pork or seafood. Espetadas are considered a staple food in Madeira, where they’re usually served with milho frito (grilled cornmeal) and bolo de caco (a type of Madeiran flatbread). 🥙

Greece: Souvlaki

Greece is all about those summer vibes, cool recipes and refreshing tastes. The Souvlaki is also a part of that. It’s usually a lamb skewer (although it’s sometimes made with beef, chicken or pork) that is served with pita bread and tzatziki. You can even try out the tender Chicken Souvlaki at Manakis for that ultimate Greek vibe. 😋

Peru: Anticuchos

This is probably the most Peruvian snack out there. Anticuchos are typically made out of beef heart marinated in vinegar, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper and most importantly, aji panca, a Peruvian pepper. The latter ingredient gives the skewer a nice spicy kick! 🌶️

What term do you use?

Turkey: Sis Tavuk

We’ve all heard of the shish kebab, the super popular Turkish skewer that is found in every Turkish restaurant in Malta. However, the sis tavuk, or shish taouk, are also delicious skewers that are popular in Turkey. They’re made out of chicken that is marinated in yoghurt, lemon juice, paprika, pepper and garlic. This skewer is also popular in other countries, like Egypt, Lebanon and Syria, but the seasonings tend to change from one country to another. 🤔

Spain: Pinchos

Although the term pinchos can also generally refer to tapas, it is also the term used for traditional Spanish skewers. Pinchos, or pinchos morunos, are small skewers made out of pork that has been marinated in a blend of spices called ras el hanout. These skewers are typically served in Spanish bars as tapas. 👌

Japan: Yakitori

Pretty sure most of you have heard of this term before, especially if you’ve been to a Japanese restaurant. Yakitori skewers are primarily made from chicken marinated in soy sauce, sake, mirin and sugar - a mix of sweet and salty that is truly delicious. Sample at Sakura or Wagamama to start your yakitori adventures! 🤤

Russia: Shashlik

This type of skewer is very similar to the shish kebab. Apart from being popular in Russia, the shashlik is also very common in Georgia. The meat that is typically used in shashlik is lamb, but it is also commonly made with beef or pork, or any other red meat. Either way, the meat is marinated in something acidic, like vinegar or dry wine, and LOADS of onions. 🧅

We’ve only featured 7 types of skewers here, but there are SO many more! The world is truly our oyster, especially when it comes to food. Isn’t it impressive how just one single item can be cooked in so many different ways around the world? Let us know your favourite kind of skewer in the comments below! 👇

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