The gyro is a Greek adaptation of a Turkish dish called the shawarma. It descended from the doner kebab, another Turkish dish. To make gyros, the meat is marinated with a variety of seasonings. Most gyros are seasoned with the same set of spices, which can vary in abundance and composition depending on where they’re made.
Here, George’s Gyro Spot shares some of the ingredients of a traditional gyro:
The pita bread is soft, flat, and pocket-shaped. It is made of flour, water, and yeast.
The lamb is grilled on a vertical spit, similar to shawarma. This is called a gyro plate. The meat is made of either lamb or pork or a combination of both.
Sometimes beef is also used in the place of lamb.
The meat is trimmed of fat, seasoned, and cooked. The meat is kept warm in a small pan off to the side.
Tzatziki is a Greek cucumber dip made of strained yogurt, grated cucumbers, garlic, salt, and fresh lemon juice. It’s beautifully cooling in the summer and a great compliment to the warm and savory gyro.
Cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers are generally added. Onions are always used in a gyro.
Feta cheese is a crumbly white cheese that’s used as a topping on many Greek foods. It’s aged in brine or saltwater to give it its distinct flavor. It’s a cheese that’s very common in Greek cuisine.
Allspice is a spice commonly used in Greek cooking. It’s a bit sweeter than cinnamon and has a strong, spicy aroma.
Dill is a type of herb indigenous to the Mediterranean. It has a distinctive flavor that will remind you of an herbal version of parsley.
Oregano is another herb common in Greek cooking. It has a distinct flavor that’s slightly tart, and a little sharp in the aftertaste.
Mint is a common herb in Greek cooking. It has a distinctively strong, sharp, and slightly cool taste.
Thyme is a herb used very commonly in Greek cooking. It has a very strong, peppery, and slightly sharp taste.
Cumin is a spice used in Greek cooking. It’s aromatic, with a strong, nutty flavor.
Garlic is a seasoning used in many Greek dishes. It has a distinctive pungent but delicious flavor.
Variations of Gyro
There are many variations of the gyro. Below are some of the more common ones:
The Lamb Gyro
The lamb gyro is made with lamb shoulder and seasoned with Greek spices. Lambs are typically fatter and have a slightly sweeter taste than other meats.
The Chicken Gyro
The chicken gyro is similar to the lamb gyro, but it’s made with chicken breast. This can be a healthier option for some people who are trying to watch their fat and calorie intake.
The Vegetarian Gyro
Vegetarian gyros are made using pita bread, gyro meat, and tzatziki sauce.
They can be topped with feta cheese, cucumbers, and tomatoes.
There are many variations to the gyro depending on the region it’s made in.
The traditional gyro as described here is most commonly found in today’s Greece and Greek communities around the world. If you haven’t tried a gyro before, then you definitely should! Look for a popular gyro spot in your area and find out why the Gyro is the favorite of many!
George’s Gyro Spot is the most popular gyro spot in Chesterton, IN. Drop by today for a hearty dine-in experience or order your gyro to go!