Shawarma: A Tale of Flat Bread, Vegetables and Copious Protein

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Shawarma is a snack consumed by many Nigerians and due to its popularity amongst the country’s younger population, older persons from “Gen X” often refer to youths from “Gen Z” as the “shawarma generation”. It is unknown if this descriptive is tied to the latter generation’s high rate of consumption, or the make-up of various facets that have become calling cards for the former.

The origins of shawarma can be traced as far back as the 19th century and it is recorded as the first snack prepared using the vertical method of grilling meat as against the conventional horizontal method1. This practice of grilling meat vertically is referred to as the “shawarma technique”.

Commonly found in urban parts of Nigeria, shawarma has been described as a “slice of heaven on earth. It is both rich in colour and taste; garnished with crunchy cabbage and greeny lettuce, chunky golden-brown tasty grilled chicken or beef, permeated with sandwich cream and wrapped in dry tasteless pitta/flat bread. From personal experience, shawarma is best served with a little bit of garlic mix and lots of pepper. Literarily, the hotter the battle with my tongue, the sweeter the victory that comes with a satisfied belly and a fulfilled soul. Shawarma can also be prepared with sausage or cheese jammed in between the mix of vegetables and chunks of protein.

Considering the ingredients used in its preparation (flatbread as a carbohydrate; lettuce, cabbage, onions, and other preferred vegetables, in addition to chicken or beef as protein sources), it is often debated as to whether or not shawarma can be categorized as a healthy snack. According to a number of online publications, a standard serving of shawarma is reported to contain between 314 – 328 calories which is around 16.4% of the 2000 – 2500 calories recommended as healthy daily consumption benchmarks for women and men respectively. Whilst stocked with lots of nutritional content, it is recommended that the consumption of the snack is done in moderation i.e. in addition to other foods consumed daily.

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Due to the high amount of calories it contains, excessive consumption of shawarma can lead to serious medical conditions such as being overweight or even obese. Although this is dependent on different factors including the consumer’s level of consumption, age, body type, caloric requirements, and their level of physical engagement among other factors. Whatever the case may be, try not to be overly indulging. Though I trust some persons would quote “na one thing must kill person for this life”, either ways just try chop am with sense to save you any future stress; everything for life na jeje.

Do let me know in the comment section what you like, love, or do not fancy in a Shawarma and how often you consume the snack. It will also be fun to recommend one or two cool shawarma joints in your locality.


Wikipedia, 2021: Shawarma. Retrieved from


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At Sabiagrik, we're dedicated to bridging the knowledge gap in the agriculture sector, helping enthusiasts transform their passion into thriving businesses.