Thursday 18 December 2014

Blog: Will the absence of lamb really stop us tucking into kebabs at 4am?

A new study has revealed that a significant percentage of Dublin's lamb kebabs might not contain actual lamb but I doubt this will stop the city's lushes..

Patricia Murphy

Published 24/07/2014 | 15:53

Doner Kebab / Türkiye
Doner Kebab / Türkiye

When the music stops, the jackets are collected and the crowds stumble out the door urged by bouncers there's usually only one destination on everyone's mind... and it's not 'home to bed.'

The post pub visit to the chipper is somewhat ingrained into our drinking culture and every Saturday night in Ireland's capital is evidence of this.

With the warm glow of booze in our veins any standards of fine cuisine are scuffed in favour of troughs of garlic sauce and chips, both elements of a drunken midnight feast.

As with any food, I am always easily coaxed into tucking into the holy grail of drunken feasts, the doner kebab, but a recent survey has revealed I'm probably not getting the lamb that I actually ordered.

In a recent FSAI survey of 20 kebabs from Dublin takeaways, three contained no lamb at all and seven contained less than 5pc, despite being advertised as such on menu boards.

While it is unnerving I'm unsure that the news will impact how many kebabs are happily consumed in the city following a night on the tear.

With alcohol in our veins, we do a lot of things we wouldn't ever consider doing when we have our wits about us. We kiss boys that we wouldn't dream of associating with during daylight hours and dish secrets we swore we wouldn't. We put our bare feet on disgusting city streets when the pain of heels becomes too much and if the question comes to 'rent or another round', the answer is usually the latter.

In the same way, we take leave of our senses and end up under the florescent lighting of takeaways which we wouldn't be caught dead in without a few measures in our system, tucking into greasy chips slathered in curry or the dish in question, the doner kebab.

Forgetting for a moment the survey's findings, we already know that the food we consume at 4am be it a greasy burger, a sweet and sour, or a dirty kebab, are things we should not be putting into our body but being drunk alters your perspective. 

It's midweek and I am outraged that takeaways are getting away with dishing out undeclared meat, masked as lamb. When you order lamb, you most certainly should be getting lamb and not only minute traces. It is your right as a consumer.

I know the value in honest meat, locally sourced by Irish butchers. It is special and wholesome. It makes you wonder why anyone ever eats anything else. It is something I'm quite passionate about.

However, I am 24 and I do spend my weekend nights in the company of other twenty-somethings trotting around Dublin on the hunt for fun. Unsurprisingly, there is sometimes a drink or 6 involved and the level of merry is often high.

As much as I wish I could promise to stick to my guns, to boycott Irish takeaways that are being dishonest, I'm not sure I can.

I can't pretend my food morals would hold out after a night on Harcourt Street in the company of other starving drink mates.

The truth is that sometimes we do things we're ashamed of. 

As a food lover I hate myself for it, but I'm not sure if I can resist those florescent chipper lights after a few jars...

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