Kokoretsi or kokoreç is a dish of the Balkans and Turkey consisting mainly of llamb or goat intestines, often wrapping seasoned offal, including sweetbreads, hearts, lungs and/or kidneys. The intestines of suckling lambs are preferred.
The ingredients are cut up and seasoned with lemon, olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper. The intestine is cleaned especially thoroughly. The filling meats are threaded onto a long skewer and wrapped with the intestine to hold them together.
Kokoretsi is usually roasted on a horizontal skewer over a charcoal, gas, or electrical burner.
A quite different preparation mixes the chopped innards with chopped tomatoes and green peppers, and then cooks them on a large griddle with hot red pepper and oregano added. The cook constantly mixes and chops the mixture using two spatulas. When done, the dish is kept warm aside on the griddle until someone orders a serving.
The cooked kokoretsi is chopped, sprinked with oregano, and served on a plate.
Sometimes it is served on a piece of flatbread. Sometimes tomatoes or spices are added.
It may also, especially in Turkey, be served in a flat-bread sandwich, plain or garnished.
In Turkey, common side dishes are pickled peppers or cucumbers.
National and regional variations
Kokoreç is a delicacy and not a standard menu item in restaurants. It can be found at street vendors and some specialized restaurants only.
There are several ways of serving it. It is usually served as a sandwich in Yarım ekmek kokoreç (half-bread) or Çeyrek ekmek kokoreç (quarter-Bread). It may also be served without bread, on a plate, as a normal dish.
Kokoreç is usually served with ayran, turnip juice, beer or cola. Pickled hot green peppers or pickled cucumbers may be served as side-dishes.
Most preffered and delicious kokoreç is grilled on charcoal and served with red pepper and thyme in Turkey.
Among Greeks, it is traditionally consumed at Easter, though it is available year-round.
Many Greek tavernas serve kokoretsi. Due to the mad cow disease outbreak in the late 1990's, banning the consumption of the animals' offal was considered. However, due to the importance of kokoretsi in Greek tradition, the idea was abandoned.
Gardouba (γαρδούμπα) or gardoubakia (γαρδουμπάκια) is a variant of kokoretsi, but roasted in a pan in an oven, instead of over an open fire.
- ↑ Γ. Μπαμπινιώτης (Babiniotis), Λεξικό της Νέας Ελληνικής Γλώσσας, Δεύτερη Έκδοση, Athens, 2002
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