Gyros are a special light meal or heavy snack among many food enthusiasts and families. You may appreciate the time and effort put into cooking them, but you may often overlook the special spice blend sprinkled on the meat and vegetables. Even if you may smell and taste mere hints, spices often get overshadowed by the tzatziki sauce. But don’t worry; you now have the opportunity to know more about spices and gyro culinary culture!
This article will discuss the origins of using spices in gyro. We will also discuss the different kinds of popular spices associated with gyro and their relevance, primarily in aromatics and flavors. Take this article as a starting point to seek the best gyros in your area and have a deeper appreciation for spices’ role in your food!
The Origins of Spices in Gyro
Gyro is a Mediterranean staple since it does have the makings of Greek flavors, mainly a love of herbs and spices. That’s why you can expect modern-day gyros to have spice blends of cumin, black pepper, oregano, paprika, salt, onion, and garlic.
Traditionally, greek home cooks would marinate their meats with these spices, but you can also see different chefs and restaurants nowadays experimenting with spice blends to create their signature dishes.
Another defining quality of gyros and their spice-driven qualities is its Middle Eastern roots. It turns out that you can connect the Greek gyro to doner kebab and shawarma. These realizations only further solidify why spices are prominent in the dishes since many Middle Eastern countries and surrounding regions use them.
Popular Spices Used for Gyro
Consider the following spices in your next gyro meal and have a better eating experience as you learn to appreciate the aromatics and subtle changes in flavor:
Allspice: This is a staple spice among many traditional Greek gyros, which is alternatively called Bahari. Allspice was first seen in history in Jamaica by Christopher Columbus, which is why it was also referred to as the Jamaica Pepper. The country is still known for its impressive supply of allspice, one of the top suppliers worldwide.
When added into meat for gyros, allspice adds a mild bitterness while infusing pleasant tastes of clove-like sweetness. It’s a welcome addition to any well-made gyro and other Greek dishes!
Cumin: Interestingly, this spice is not something the Greeks would identify cooked with, especially for gyros. Cumin is more Middle Eastern in origin, having a warmer, more intense heat level than other herbs. It’s also known for its earthy, more pungent aromatics, making each gyro bite fulfilling. You may even go for seconds!
Dill: This spice is an interesting addition to the gyro since it’s more commonly associated with fish dishes. However, dill is a popular Greek culinary staple and can add depth to gyro meat. It’s known for adding lemony notes and aromas and can be further enhanced with celery!
Oregano: Also known as Rigani in Greece, this spice is one of the most used in other traditional dishes. That’s because the Greeks also love to grow fresh oregano in their home gardens as they pair it with their tomatoes. In a gyro, you can expect oregano to be the savory and bitter taste enhancer, adding the right depth of flavor to any lamb or beef meat.
The depth of flavors and smells attributed to gyros is primarily due to the delicate blend of spices. You can find an excellent gyro restaurant by referring to these defining qualities. Now, you have a better appreciation for the different kinds of spice blends and their relevance to the comfort food experience. Order your next meal at your local gyro spot today!
Are you looking for the best gyro spot in Chesterton? Visit us today at George’s Gryo Spot! We can provide you with the best hand-carved gyros, polish dogs, and other classic food options. Spice up your meal choices with us!