The Moscow authorities want to remove all shawarma kiosks from the city’s streets, Alexei Nemeryuk, head of the city’s trade and services department, told Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper on Tuesday. “We are removing shawarma from the streets,” Nemeryuk said. “There will be no shawarma anymore.” Nemeryuk explained that he plans to refuse the renewal of leases to all the stalls selling shawarma.
Nemeryuk hates the Moscow shawarma because, as he says, repeated checks carried out by Russia’s consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor have revealed “the absence of any desire of the owners of kiosks to bear even the slightest costs” to comply with sanitary regulations.
The Moscow municipality demolished many shawarma kiosks in February and in December.
That was Tuesday morning. A little later on the same Tuesday, Nemeryuk released a statement saying it was all a big misunderstanding, due to “technical problems.”
“The question was about one particular stall with shawarma, which is standing in some place. The residents complained. There is no ban on shawarma, it is sold, it is [sold] in restaurants, too,” Nemeryuk told the Dozhd television channel.
Shawarma is a Mediterranean meat preparation, where lamb, chicken, turkey, beef, or veal are placed on a vertical spit and are grilled for the entire business day. Shavings are cut off the block of meat for serving, and the remainder is kept heated on the rotating spit. Shawarma can be served on a plate or as a sandwich or wrap, like the Turkish döner kebabs and Greek gyros.