Souvlaki (Greek: σουβλάκι, plural souvlakia) is a popular Greek fast food consisting of small pieces of meat and sometimes vegetables grilled on a skewer.
The word souvlaki is a diminutive of the Medieval Greek σούβλα souvla 'skewer', itself borrowed from Latin subula.
Excavations on the island of Santorini, discovered stone sets of barbecue for skewers used before 17th century BC. In each pair of the supports, the receptions for the spits are found in absolute equivalence, while the line of small openings in the base formed a mechanism to supply the coals with oxygen so that they remained alight during its use. Homer mentions meat roasted on spits (οβελώς). In Classical Greece, a small spit or skewer was known as ὀβελίσκος (obeliskos), and Aristophanes mentions such skewers being used to roast thrushes.
Souvlaki can be served in a pita, in a sandwich bun, on its own with a few slices of grilled bread smeared with olive oil, oregano and salt, with lemon wedges, maybe some salad, tzatziki and French fries. The meat used in Greece and Cyprus is pork, although chicken and lamb may also be used. You will find souvlaki shops in every town, village or neighborhood making these tasty jewels not bigger than 3oz in weight each.
In the USA you will find the souvlaki in every Greek restaurant or street vendor, as well as in other ethnic eateries, mainly made with lamb, beef and sometimes swordfish.