Gyro and shawarma are street foods that take you to an exciting food adventure and satisfy your craving for a sumptuous Greek and Middle Eastern feast. Since they both have spit-roasted meats and are served on a plate or a flatbread, many food enthusiasts can get confused. While they look similar, they have varied seasonings and garnishes that indicate their differences.
Learn more about these Greek and Arabic street foods and their differences by reading the information below.
What Is Gyro?
Gyro comes from the Greek word “gyros,” which means “to turn.” This Greek food is usually made from ground fatty pork, lamb, beef, or a combination of all meat. What keeps its meat tasty is it is slowly cooked on a vertical rotisserie with various seasonings, including rosemary, oregano, marjoram, and thyme. This cooking method allows the meat to cook in eats own fat, making every bite tender and juicy.
After cooking, the meat is sliced thinly and served on a gyro bread or pita. Other ingredients that make this street food even more delicious are cucumber, lettuce, onion, and tomato. For the finishing touch, the gyro is topped with a garlic yogurt with cucumber and dill. Ketchup or mustard can serve as an alternative to the garlic yogurt. Once filled with the most delicious ingredients, the pita is now rolled and wrapped for an extraordinary yet convenient dining experience.
What Is the History of Gyro?
In the 20th century, the refugees from Turkey arrived in Greece. The Turkish eventually offered gyro in their newly opened food stalls and small shops, allowing them to taste the delightful goodness and tenderness of their recipes. Many Greek people immigrated to other parts of the world after the Second World War, carrying with them the delectable taste of gyro and other Turkish recipes they truly enjoyed.
Gyro vs. Shawarma: What Makes Them Different?
Shawarma is a popular street food in Arab and Balkan countries. It is typically made with lamb, beef, chicken, turkey, veal, or a mix of any of the meat. Traditionally, both gyro and shawarma are made with fattier cuts of meat to make the meat juicy and tender and allow it to be cooked and drenched in its own fat. What makes them different is their seasonings.
Gyro is seasoned mainly with herbs, while shawarma is packed with different spices, including cinnamon, paprika, turmeric, cloves, dried lime, and cardamom. The seasoned meat is grilled on a vertical spit for as long as two days to ensure its rich, juicy flavor. Finally, the shaved-off meat is garnished with hummus, amba, pickled turnips, tahini, and more, and served with fried bread salad, herb and bulgur salad, or taboon bread.
Shawarmas, gyros, burgers, and more are some of the perfect snacks to enjoy. Aside from being convenient to eat for people who are always on the go, they are packed with the tastiest ingredients that are sure to satisfy hunger and craving.
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