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World's Most Delicious Wrap: It's Shawarma

Comfort Keto is proudly introducing the ketogenically mastered version of the internationally popular Armenian style Shawarma wrap, the classic Middle Eastern delicacy. Whether you're on a noisy street in Tel Aviv, Beirut, Erivan, Athens, or in the crowded cities of Europe like Berlin, London, or in Istanbul --the birthplace of Shawarma--, this yummy treat is famous for its century-old classic bold, deep flavor profiles.




How does our master keto Chef Janine prepare the Shawarma wrap?


Shawarma is a Middle Eastern dish typically prepared with chicken or lamb, cooked on a vertical rotisserie, and cut into extremely thin pieces.


For the preparation of our ketogenic Shawarma, Chef Janine blends equal parts of shredded/ground beef and lamb mixed with warming spice blends. The blend is first par-frozen and the shaved down to thin slices. When Individual spices like cinnamon and allspice are paired with their partner seasonings, the group of flavors sing together.


In the past, Shawarma would have been cooked over an open fire, but in the modern-day, gas or electric heated vertical rotisserie machines are used. Yet, Chef Janine chooses to quick pan sear the finely shaved slices of meat in butter for perfectly juicy and tender result.


Chef Janine then wraps the savory bite of tender meat paired with the garlicy toppings in a blanket of fluffy pita bread. Of course, we use a keto friendly pita bread which has been masterfully baked by our supplier in North Hollywood.



What does Shawarma mean? Origins of Shawarma


Food is arguably more pleasurable when you know the history of the dish.


Shawarma is a meal that has a rich, lengthy history. The contemporary version of shawarma was first developed around the end of the 18th, or turn of the 19th, century when the Ottoman Empire was in full swing. It holds very close ties to modern-day Turkey. The name itself comes from the Turkish word "çevirme" which translates to "turning" --refers to something that rotates.



Although the countries that Shawarma is widely consumed as city-based street food have large Jewish and Muslim populations, this dish spread across the world due to migration, leading to region-specific adaptations and flavors. In the USA, Shawarma started to gain traction in the 1970s. Today, this meal that can be found in countless restaurants across the country.


Shawarma is often confused with the gyro sandwich, thanks to their meat being cooked similarly and both being served stuffed into pita bread. Gyro, however, has Greek origins and flavorings, served with a tzatziki sauce and often seasoned with herbs like oregano and thyme. Shawarma, on the other hand, is flavored with spices and is usually topped with tahini sauce. Gyros may also sometimes have french fries stuffed into the sandwich with the meat, whereas Shawarma doesn't.


Another common meat-and-bread combo that shawarma is lumped in with is the kebab, and specifically the doner kebab, which is another meat dish cooked on a rotating skewer. Again, though, while they're closely related, the two dishes are different, thanks to their roots and seasonings. Shawarma is usually found in Armenia, the Middle East, the Levant, and Egypt.


Doner kebabs are of Turkish origin which tend to be seasoned more lightly than Shawarma. The spices in our Armenian style Shawarma meat blend include coriander, allspice, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, black pepper, onion or garlic powder, with garlic powder, in particular, providing the dish with additional umami flavors.


Obviously, the star of the show when it comes to Shawarma is the meat. Yet, no shawarma is complete without a fluffy piece of bread to encase it in, giving the perfect vehicle for all of that protein and the delicious sauces. Typically, Shawarma is served stuffed into a pita as a sandwich or wrapped in a pita or flatbread that resembles a burrito.


Although pitas and flatbread seem pretty much identical, there are a few differences between the two. Pita bread is made by baking it and contains yeast, whereas flatbreads do not (which is partly why they're so flat). Both bread options are unflavored and made with white wheat flour.


World's Most Delicious Wrap: It's Shawarma... Okay, so we're exaggerating, but anybody who's ever tried shawarma will most likely agree with us. This dish, comprised of heavily-spiced meat, cooked on a vertical rotating spit until browned and juicy, and then piled on top of flat bread and wrapped, served with accompanying salad and sides, is the stone-cold winner.


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