Mention the food shawarma and the first thing that comes to one’s mind is Arab food. It was introduced to me by Philippine television on my first decade of existence. Since then, I have always been craving for tasting one and looking for stalls that sell the sumptuous Middle Eastern snack. Only in my grade school days did I actually taste one when I dropped by the Big Dome in Quezon City.
Since the term Arab is usually associated with curry and the Filipino term “amoy Arabo,” I thought that tasting it would partially make me smell like one. But just like how I dealt with some Eureka! moments of the childhood, it really was fascinating to discover the truth from the false truth (I didn’t get that awful smell!). Eating shawarma indeed became a treat for me every time I get to eat one. So from then on whenever I see a shawarma stall, I never miss trying each version. Yuuummmmm!!!
Basically, shawarma’s ingredients are freely available in the market. You can have beef or chicken, tomatoes, white onions, the sauces, and of course the bread. Hearing the list of ingredients may make a shawarma-innocent man to think of the food to be just like hamburger. Well, it’s more exotic tasting than the western hamburger. I really am lost for words to describe it.
When I arrived here in Saudi Arabia, the food’s origin, it became a mandatory for me to search for one stall and compare the locally prepared shawarma from the ones we have in the Philippines. Guess what. I liked our version better. In here (Jeddah), I haven’t tasted the ‘secret’ sauce that they use in Manila. But their local version here is a lot bigger as compared to ours; also, they add French fries.
So what are you waiting for?! Search for this middle-eastern snack in your nearest mall. The price ranges from PhP 35 (regular) to PhP 55 (all beef). Here it costs 4 Saudi Riyal (47 pesos if a single Riyal is 11.72 pesos in the exchange rate).
Update (March 15, 2012): I would like to retract my claim that the Manila shawarma is better... I have tasted different versions from Rabigh to Taif to Jeddah. Indeed, the Arabian snack is the best no other than from its home country, Saudi Arabia. Sarap!