In the early hours of a Sunday morning – when you’ve just bid farewell to the neon lights of a club – it isn’t long before your attentions turn to acquiring (and devouring) a doner kebab.
With a few friends by your side, you stumble down the streets, your stomach rumbling in tune with the night’s adventures.
It’s a staple of post-party munchies, a savoury delight wrapped in bread and drenched in sauces that hits the spot like nothing else.
But what if you were to soberly uncover the secrets of this late-night delicacy? Would you even want to know?
A YouTube video from Channel 4’s Food Unwrapped takes a deep dive into the enigmatic world of the doner kebab.
Originating from Turkey, this tantalising treat involves layers of meat stacked onto a rotating vertical spit, a common sight in takeaway establishments all across the UK.
In the video, the presenter, Jimmy Doherty, takes a bite of a freshly made doner kebab, only to ponder about the mysterious meat concealed within the shavings.
He chats with the shop owner, who claims that his kebab contains lamb, but he admits that others might use different meats like chicken or beef.
To demystify the doner’s secrets, Doherty ventures to Veli’s Kebabs factory in Staffordshire.
There, he discovers the truth about what goes into the beloved doner.
Having a look at the meat, a factory worker tells him: “This has come off one of the big supermarkets.
“They trim the meat up, they get it aesthetically pleasing for the customer, and the trim that gets leftover we get coming in.
“If [the meat] is labelled up as doner, which everybody associates with what’s on a spit, it should be 100 per cent lamb.
“There are companies out there that are labelling up kebabs and they’re containing beef and chicken – and there have been some instances of pork, which, for the Muslim community, is a big no-no.”
Then, we see one being made.
The process begins with sizable pieces of lamb, which are diced and combined with textured soya protein to keep costs down by increasing the volume of the mix.
Onion powder and salt are added for flavour, and the salt also helps the kebab maintain its shape when sliced.
The final makeup of the doner is unveiled – it contains approximately 85% lamb, 5% bulking agent, 5% rusk, and 5% seasoning.
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The mixture is then moulded into thick circles and stacked up on a spit, with a sheet of lamb skin placed between each layer.
It’s a fascinating process, though perhaps not as appetizing as we’d like to imagine.
The video has received mixed reactions from viewers, with one person commenting: “I never knew that. Never having doner.”
While others are calling it ‘disgusting’ and said they’ll ‘never eat it again’.
However, that’s easier said than done while intoxicated and memories of kebabs gone by flood your thoughts.
One did, rather accurately, say: “If you’re still capable of questioning what’s in it [a doner], you’re not p***ed enough to savour it.”
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