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Florence, Italy: KEBAB- The "Adopted" Italian Food
For lovers of the Renaissance Florence, the Medici, and intrigue.
That is what I believe the future name of the kebab will become in the next twenty years or so. Since more and more people (locals and foreigners alike) are eating kebabs and more places keep opening, I thought it appropriate to dedicate an article to this phenomenon.
Although the kebab originated in Persia, it is very popular in the Middle East and can be found all over Europe and the UK. Traditionally, this was grilled meat (usually lamb) on a skewer (shish-kebab). Today it can be roasted lamb, chicken or beef and served as a main dish on a plate, panini or gyro.
Although I have never actually counted how many kebab sellers there are here in Florence, I am willing to bet that they probably equal (if not outnumber) pizzerias. YES, they are that popular here! Cheap, tasty, and quick- they are the perfect "on the go" meal.
If you're wondering WHAT IS A KEBAB? Well, it's roasted meat chunks combined with whatever toppings you like, such as: lettuce, tomatoes, onions, parsley, shredded cabbage, potatoes, humus, yogurt, tahini, hot sauce. You can get the works or pick and choose. They will wrap it all up in a heated, toasty gyro (like a wrap) or in a bread panino. Yum.
The first place to sell kebabs in Florence is La Boheme (Mavi Cose Turche). The owner was born in Italy, raised in Turkey and has been running his successful kebab business for over ten years. My husband and I go there once in a while and we have never had a bad kebab.
I have gotten to know the workers and regular customers throughout the years and discovered that items like yogurt and humus are made fresh daily. The tomatoes and lettuce are always pretty fresh, too.
I also like the fact that they have a clean bathroom (so important!) and outdoor seating. You can grab your tasty kebab and wash it down with your choice of soft drinks, beer or wine and just people watch.
They stay open pretty late and also make very good falafel (a good vegetarian option).
La Boheme (Mavi Cose Turche)
Via dei Benci, 15r
Thank you for reading!
C. De Melo
Author & Artist