When it comes to fast food treats, the Gyro is an ultimate favorite of many. This popular Greek street dish won many Americans’ hearts because of its tasty and uniquely cooked well-seasoned meat. They loved that it’s perfectly wrapped in a pita filled with other bright flavored ingredients and everyone’s favorite yogurt sauce called tzatziki. If you are a Gyro lover and want to learn more about this food, here are some fun facts you should know.
Fact 1: It is pronounced differently as it is spelled
If you call this dish as “jee-ros,” “gee-ros,” or “jai-ros,” you have been pronouncing it wrong. The name is actually pronounced as “Yeh-ro.” If you did not see the connection between the two, here is a little tip: the letter ‘g’ is not pronounced. If you study the Greek language, you will learn that the Greek letter ‘gamma’ is pronounced as “yeh.” So, the next time you order one, try doing so using the correct pronunciation.
Fact 2: It literally means “to turn”
There is more to learn about the name Gyro. It is derived from the Greek word “gheereezo,” which means “to turn” or “revolution,” and it is because of the process of how the meat is cooked, which you will learn in the next entry.
Fact 3: It is cooked vertically in a rotisserie grill
The meat used in Gyro is usually pork or chicken and is cooked in an upright rotisserie grill. The meat is grilled through a vertical sit of stacked meat slices moving in a slow manner and then cut off as they get cooked. The cooking usually takes about an hour, which allows the meat to capture all the flavors nicely. Then, using an old-fashioned knife or electric cutters, you slice off the juicy strips of meat and place them in or on a slice of pita bread.
Fact 4: It has a rich cooking history
The grilling of meats on a skewer originated in Eastern Mediterranean during the Mycenean Greek and Minoan periods, while the vertical spit of stacked meat slices and the way it is cut off was developed in the 19th century in Bursa, the first major capital city of the early Ottoman empire.
Fact 5: It reached America in 1965
George Apostolou first introduced the Gyro to the Americans in 1965 in his and his cousins’ Parkview Restaurant in Chicago, IL. It immediately got popular, resulting in more restaurants wanting to offer it as an alternative to the usual hamburgers. That is when George started producing Gyros in large quantities until he got the approval to open the Gyros factory in 1975. Since then, different parts of the US have been enjoying the treat.
Fact 6: It has many variations
This dish has become so popular that it even became one of the world’s first global fast foods. One quick search for recipes will give you ideas on how people cook it. In the US, people use beef and lamb meat instead of the usual pork and chicken and sometimes add fries to it. Searching the internet will allow you to find the best Gyro recipes to try to level up your eating experience.
Fact 7: Americans eat 100 million Gyros a year
According to Michael Austin, current CEO of Kronos Foods, the world’s largest gyro manufacturer, Americans eat more than 300,000 gyros of the product they made. If you multiply it in a year, that is 100 million pieces of Gyros.
Gyro is as impressive as the trivia behind it. This food has been loved by many not only because of its economical price and addictive taste but also because of its colorful history.
If your mouth waters as you read through this article, grab your favorite snack now from George’s Gyro Spot. We are one of the well-loved restaurants in Chesterton, Indiana bringing our customers the comfort food they love. If you are from the area, you can place your order online and we will deliver it to you.