Souvlaki Kotobacon is one of modern Greek street food creations. It takes pride in great taste and attractive appearance. However, it’s not very Greek when it comes to ingredients. Chicken is not the first choice of meat in traditional Greek cuisine. Furthermore, bacon is so new to modern Greeks that they don’t even know the actual Greek word for it!
Bacon in ancient Greece was called Piar (πῖαρ). It was prepared from the pork belly, the same way we do today. Piar was then subjected to preservation treatment either in a dry environment or in brine. After that, it was usually smoked. In some varieties, lumbar meat is used. During the medieval time and Turkish occupation, the word Piar somehow disappeared from Greece. This is why modern Greeks know it only by the name bacon and write it phonetically – Mpeikon (Mπέικον).
Souvlaki Kotobacon invention
Bacon has been one of the most popular types of meat for centuries. well, at least in Western Europe. In Greece, it became popular sometimes in the second part of 20th century. Since souvlaki is one of the most popular Greek inventions, the creative street food vendors came up with the idea to “hug” the pieces of chicken with tasty bacon and grill it. The creation was a huge hit! Tourists and locals fell in love with this combination. Easily digestible protein, wrapped with one of the best fats from pork. What’s not to like?
Keto loves bacon
As we know, on Keto, it’s recommended to consume saturated fats, including bacon. How bacon can help you lose weight and solve certain health problems is best explained by Dr Tim Noakes, one of the world’s experts on Low Carb nutrition.
Many people who were conditioned to avoid bacon and eggs, as well as red meat, butter and other animal fats, switched to foods that consist of cereals and fruits. It’s not surprising that bacon has a bad reputation because it has long been thought to raise blood cholesterol levels. Bacon has been accused of causing heart disease and making us obese. But none of this is true!
The American Heart Association, as well as the USDA (US Department of Agriculture), promoted a large intake of cereals and carbohydrates as a good idea for lowering cholesterol and preventing weight gain. However, the question must be posted! If this was a recommended healthy diet since 1980, why such an expansion of obesity in the entire civilised world has occurred?
There’s no trans fat in bacon!
People who ate bacon every day had subconscious thoughts about the fractured arteries and heart disease. This was a dark cloud above their heads. But, luckily, in the recent years, more and more studies and experts claim quite the opposite!
Ironically, cereals and fruit may look, at first glance, as a healthier option. But, these are just simple carbohydrates. They are bad for your health and affect progressive weight gain. On the other hand, bacon does not contain trans fats that are directly related to the occurrence of heart disease. Quite the opposite, it contains good fats, and this was also demonstrated by a spectrophotometric analysis at the University of Alberta in 2003.
Easy on the nitrates and nitrites
Souvlaki Kotobacon is usually offered in Greek souvlaki stores. You can call it a Keto or Karnivore delicacy! However, in Greece, all available bacon is undergoing the modern preparation method which includes nitrates and nitrites. This is something that I cannot support or recommend in Keto Mediterranean diet approach! If you can source some bacon that has been cured in an oldfashioned way, using just salt and garlic, then you’ll create the healthiest and tastiest Souvlaki Kotobacon at home. Nonetheless, if something like this is difficult to find in your location, you can enjoy it occasionally with a standard, modern bacon. One thing I can guarantee you, the taste will be beyond enjoyable. Ideal for parties and family gatherings.
- 4 chicken thighs boneless
- 8 slices bacon preferably nitrates free, long
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 lemon juice and zest
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 50 ml sparkling mineral water
- Cut the chicken thighs into cubes (try to make 4 cubes of each tight) and place them in a metallic, ceramic or glass bowl.
- Cut the garlic cloves in halves and add them to the chicken. Squeeze the lemon and grate the zest. Add both to the bowl.
- Sprinkle with salt, pepper and oregano. Mix well and add sparkling mineral water. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator. Marinate for 4 hours.
- After the meat has been marinated, wrap each cube of chicken with some bacon. Cut the slices of bacon in half or use more bacon if prefered.
- Skewer each bacon-wrapped chicken cube onto a wooden or metal skewer, making sure to weave it through both the bacon and the chicken
- Place your Souvlaki Cotobacon sticks on a greased grill or grilling pan (use some extra bacon or lard for greasing prevent sticking) and grill one side for approximately 3 minutes. Turn the Souvlaki back over and bake from the other side. Continue to flip until the bacon is caramelized and crispy and the chicken is cooked.
- Serve with some Tzatziki sauce or enjoy it "sketo"