The doner, known as Germany’s national dish, is being skewered by the rising prices of ingredients amid cost of living crisis, MPs are told

It has always been a delicious – if slightly greasy – treat for Germans, perhaps even their national dish.

But the mighty döner kebab has now become a symbol of the country’s cost of living crisis, amid warnings from some quarters that the dish will soon cost more than €10 a serving.

Peckish Germans are so concerned about rising prices that the issue was debated this week in the Bundestag, the German parliament.

Hanna Steinmüller, an MP for the Greens, raised the issue after she was approached by anxious members of a frisbee youth club in Gesundbrunnen, part of her Berlin constituency.

Among the frisbee players’ main concerns, she told MPs, was “increased kebab prices” which are estimated to have gone up from around €3.50 (£2.90) in 2022 to at least €6 (£5.10) in recent months.

In November, one major döner producer warned that it was becoming a “luxury” dish that could soon end up costing as much as €10 (£8.50).

“I know that for a lot of people here, this is not at all an everyday topic, and they perhaps sometimes feel contempt towards it. But I promised them that we would at least make this [issue] visible here too,” Ms Steinmüller said.

While Britons may associate the döner kebab with a messy night out, in Germany the dish has a proud tradition that dates back to the “gastarbeiter” phenomenon of the 1960s.

During that period, large numbers of Turks, as well as Greeks, Spaniards and South Koreans, among others, were invited to work in Germany under bilateral recruitment deals.

Turkish workers brought the kebab

When the Turks arrived, they brought with them their Ottoman-era signature dish: scraps of juicy meat scraped off a rotisserie and served up in a fistful of bread with a variety of salads and sauces. Or, as the Germans came to call it: the döner.

Of late, döner stands have been steadily increasing their prices to keep up with the rising cost of ingredients, particularly tomatoes and bread.

They are particularly popular in the capital, Berlin, where locals groan about how it is now exceedingly difficult to find a good, honest kebab for €3.


Leave a Reply