Wrap me up in a shawarma

Ah, shawarma. My childhood afternoon snack in Saudi Arabia. Every day after school, our driver would pick my brother and me up, and take us to a shawarma stand near our house for a quick snack.

If you've ever had a shawarma in the U.S., I'm sorry...you've been deceived. The gyro that masquerades around as a shawarma is just that - an imposter. A true shawarma is meat shaved off a skewer, wrapped in a chewy pita, and stuffed fuller than your Uncle George on Thanksgiving, with vegetables and sometimes even french fries, and drizzled with tahini. Of course, being the chili head than I am, I always ask them to add some spicy chili paste.

I had a mixture of lamb and turkey meat for one shawarma in Tel-Aviv. The meat was tender, and full of flavor. (Sorry for the blurry picture!)

Shawarmas are considered 'fast food' in the Middle East, so they're usually roadside joints. And let me tell you - there's something about the exhaust-laden meat that...gives shawarmas a special flavor.

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