Pin It
Submit to Reddit

Where to find it: Shish tawook with toum 

The word tawook comes from the Turkish work for chicken, thus shish tawook is skewered chicken. But shish tawook has become many representations throughout the Middle East. In Lebanon, the garlic sauce used on this dish sets it apart.

In Lebanese, this sauce is known as toum and is similar to the aÏoli from Provence, but those familiar with Duke's mayonnaise know how diverse stable oil emulsions are.

Toum, known in some places as à l'ail libanaise, is a light, fluffy, lemony sauce made pungent with fresh garlic — lots of garlic. Toum has a more delicate texture and consistency than Greek yogurt or sour cream and may also be found on mezzas (a bevy of small plates) as an additional spread for bread.

The problem with toum is most recipes (including those I have tried from my extensive Lebanese cookbook collection) are not accurate. Not one tastes authentic. Additionally, many restaurants and fast casual eateries that serve shish tawook do not serve Lebanese toum. Instead, the sauce, a variation of a garlic sauce, will be in the culinary traditions of the proprietor.

Charlotte has one establishment that makes a Lebanese toum. The Kabob Grill, 1235 East Blvd., in Dilworth, serves their toum slathered on a pita filled with grilled chicken, lettuce, onions and pickles ($7). The Kabob Grill toum has the taste of that elusive sauce slathered on hot char-grilled chicken found in sidewalk cafes of downtown Beirut.

Looking for a food you can't find? Or do you know of other food items unique to the Q.C.? Whether it's regional foods or international, talk to me: or 704-522-8334, extension 136.

Pin It
Submit to Reddit


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Creative Loafing encourages a healthy discussion on its website from all sides of the conversation, but we reserve the right to delete any comments that detract from that. Violence, racism and personal attacks that go beyond the pale will not be tolerated.

Latest in Connecting the Spots

Search Events

Photo Galleries

  • On Saturday, Oct. 21, hundreds gathered at Camp North End on Statesville Avenue for Charlotte's first black alternative music festival. We captured some of the bands in action on stage, but mostly we surveyed the grounds as fans, families, vendors and more lounged around the sprawling, colorful Camp North End site. It was a great day of music, food, fun, and sweet, autumn sunshine. (Photos by Mark Kemp)
» more slideshows
items in Creative Loafing Charlotte More in Creative Loafing Charlotte pool

© 2017 Womack Newspapers, Inc.
Powered by Foundation