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Kebab, Turkey asks for recognition in the EU

Request for registration of the word "döner" as TSG

A few days ago, Turkey formalized the request to the European Union to register the word "döner" as a «traditional specialty guaranteed (TSG) and thus protect its use in member countries, as has already been done for a couple of years with " Pizza". Döner is a typical Turkish dish, which in Italy is more commonly called "kebab", from an Arabic word meaning "roasted meat".

The word – derived from the Turkish verb dönmek, “to turn” – indicates the dish of mutton, lamb or beef that is skewered in large overlapping layers on a vertical skewer, cooked on the grill by rotating the skewer on its axis, and then cut longitudinally to obtain thin strips. For several years, döner has spread to many European countries.

Turkey's objective is to ensure that in European countries the word "döner" can only be used by restaurateurs who prepare the dish respecting the Turkish method and using traditional ingredients. As the text of the registration application submitted explains, döner can be made with slices of beef, sheep or chicken which before cooking must be marinated in a mixture of yoghurt or milk, pepper or tomato puree, aromatic herbs, spices and salt. On the spit, the layers of marinated meat must be alternated with «slices of fat, tallow or sheep's tail fat.

The question then specifies in detail the thickness that the slices of meat must have depending on the type used (it can be minced or not) as well as the doses for the different preparations allowed.

A consultation phase has now begun on Turkey's request which will last at least three months: in this period each EU country will be able to question the request citing intellectual property conflicts.

According to the Association of Turkish Doner Producers in Europe, cited in the application, the market for this food in European Union countries is worth around 3.5 billion euros a year.

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EFA News - European Food Agency