A SHORT HISTORY OF Kebapçi ISKENDER
The family went into the business in 1850s with the Mehmet Efendi Restaurant. In those days, a very common job in Bursa was selling roasted lamb or tandoori. Later in 1860s, the business continued to grow with the support Iskender Efendi (1848-1934) gave to his father Mehmet Efendi.
In the Ottoman period meat (tandoori or roasted lamb) cooked was sold not only in specific locations but also on trays carried on head. Iskender, the son, was in search of making some changes in the job and polishing it up.
In the end, he made the proposal to his father to roast the lamb, which had been cooked for centuries parallel to a fire on the ground, on a large vertical spit. To do that, he set a fire in a vertical fireplace, removed the bones and nerves from the meat to be roasted, cooked it on a skewer by constantly spinning before the fire and served it after cutting into thin slices.
This way, Iskender Kebap, was introduced by Iskender Efendi (1848-1934) in Bursa in 1860s.
He started roasting the lamb, which had been cooked parallel to a fire on the ground for centuries, on a large vertical spit.
This way he developed a healthier roasting method
He treated meat in such a special way ..
one could feel the tenderness and unparalleled special taste in every bite
That different way of serving captured very close attention in Bursa and the food began to be named as "the spinning kebab of Iskender Efendi". The meat was without any bones, cooked before fire set in a vertical fireplace and cut in a different way.
However, the way it used to look was still different from today; it was simpler, no forks and knives were given, thin slices of meat were placed on a pita, which was called "alaturka" then, and it was served with yoghurt, tomato paste and butter to make it a plate of flavor. From then on, the word "Iskender" has connoted that plate.
In time, people began to refer to the food with "döner kebab" or "döner", and the name "Mehmet oglu Iskender Efendi (Iskender Efendi, the son of Mehmet)" was what was written on the first signboard of the restaurant, which has transformed later into a business name in our world of commerce. Used for quite a long time, the business name Kebapçi ISKENDER or "Iskender Efendi" went through a process of gaining a reputation in which it has become identified with the city of Bursa and integrated the food with its characteristics.
The name and flavor have been kept in the way it is now all throughout those nearly 150 years.
The name is a registered trademark now.