Every great cuisine has meat on a stick. Okay, that’s probably not universally true, but meat on a stick is still a wonderful thing. It’s portable and simple and delicious. And Myloi, where our project’s base is located, is famous for having the best souvlaki in the Argolid (in Greece, Livadeia is the champ). Souvlaki is Greece’s contribution to the fast food meat-on-a-stick. It was a staple of my childhood summers, and I’m pretty passionate about it. I have a little mental database of my favorite places, and I sometimes talk (half-seriously) about opening my own super-authentic hole-in-the-wall souvlaki joint in north America.
So you can imagine my horror when I realized that most of the students and staff on WARP don’t know how to eat souvlaki properly. So I thought that I’d provide a little primer for people who haven’t grown up eating meat on a stick.
DON’T USE UTENSILS
Souvlaki is street food, so using a fork or any utensil is improper.
Do not eat souvlaki like it’s corn on the cob. It’s gross and messy.
DON’T POINT THE STICK DIRECTLY INTO YOUR MOUTH
DO USE THE “TEAR” METHOD
The only correct method is to tear individual chunks off the stick by biting down on an individual chunk and pulling it off of the stick.
DON’T ORDER CHICKEN SOUVLAKI
Chicken doesn’t have enough fat, so chicken souvlaki is way too dry. Best to avoid it. The only correct meat for souvlaki is pork. Lamb souvlaki is not a thing in Greece (although Turkish Çöp şiş is delicious), and beef souvlaki is an abomination.
DO EAT SOUVLAKI WITH BREAD AND FRIES
Souvlaki is always served with bread and french fries. You might ask why you need two different starches. That would be a bad question. Put it out of your mind.
DO PUT LEMON ON THE SOUVLAKI
Souvlaki needs freshly squeezed lemon juice on it immediately before serving.
DO SOAK THE BREAD IN THE JUICES