Everyone knows that Christmas would quickly collapse into chaos without Santa and his trusty team of reindeer. There’s the dynamic duo of Dasher and Dancer, the maverick pairing of Prancer and Vixen, the unsung heroics of Comet and Cupid and, of course, the inspirational leadership of Rudolph. However, for this year at least, it seems the team are going to be a little short-handed. Thanks to some British kebab specialists, Donner finds himself on this year’s Christmas menu.
Leeds-based restaurant, “I Am Doner” have decided that what December 2018 really needs in order to get us all into that festive spirit is a reindeer based wrap. Inspired by the traditional foods of Finland’s native Sámi people, the new menu item takes after an ancient dish that features thinly sliced reindeer flesh, served in a freshly baked flatbread. Looks like Santa’s sleigh is going to feel that much heavier this year.
After visiting Lapland last year, I Am Döner founder Paul Baron felt that it would be only right to honour reindeer’s Scandinavian traditions in the tastiest way possible. He charged his team to come up with something suitably Christmassy, but that wouldn’t skimp on a kebab’s traditionally indulgent fast food routes. Their response didn’t disappoint.
The new kebab features a blend of reindeer and beef “Donner” meat, served alongside Christmas dinner gravy, parsnip crisps, spicy chilli jam, root vegetable sauerkraut and traditional sausage and sage stuffing, all slathered in a generous serving of lingonberry-infused creme fraiche. It might not be the most traditional way to celebrate Santa’s flying reindeer team, but it’s definitely the most delicious.
If the idea of eating something furry and flighty doesn’t necessarily appeal, there are alternative options available. For the plant-based kebab fan, I Am Doner have created an alternative, complete with vegan “doner-meat”. If you still feel like flesh, but one of Rudolph’s pals doesn’t appeal, the reindeer can also be substituted for any other type of meat.
Speaking about the thought process behind the dish, Mr Baron said that, “‘It was...in the home of Santa Claus, that we discovered how important reindeer meat is in their culture. We met a reindeer farmer whose family had been farming this way for over 300 years and an award-winning chef that helped us understand the ingredients and flavours they use.” He also added that, “We launched a Christmas kebab last year and it went nuts, it got us thinking about what we could do this year. As a chef, I am always looking for inspiration from the world around me and when the opportunity came up to visit Lapland, meet other chefs and discover their cuisine, I jumped at the chance.”
The new kebab is not just an opportunity to eat something unusual at Christmas. Retailing between £7 and £10, I Am Doner have promised that 50p from each purchase will be donated to children’s causes in Yorkshire. Not only that, but reindeer is a famously lean and healthy meat, packed with protein and omega-3 oils. It might be in slightly bad taste, but Donner might be a delicious addition to the dinner table.