No matter how many gyros Americans eat, this food still belongs to the Greeks. Greeks have the right to dress the gyro with various condiments and full-on ingredient combinations. Here are some secrets your favorite gyro spot may not have told you about.
Americans Serve It Differently
In America; the gyro is traditionally served with toasted pita, thinly sliced lamb or beef, lettuce, tomato, red onions, and tzatziki sauce. This combination of flavors is not commonly seen in Greece, where the classic gyro is made with pork and is served with lettuce, tomato, red onions, and tzatziki sauce on a toasted pita. The tangy sauces accent the spices of the meat, and the entire wrap leaves you with a flavor-packed bite of the Mediterranean.
Grecians also stuff pita bread with french fries to make an all-in-one meal. This is a convenient way to eat a gyro.
Upright Rotisseries Are of the Essence
The upright rotisserie is crucial to making an authentic gyro sandwich because it cooks the meat in a specific way that gives it the perfect texture. The meat is cooked until it is very tender and juicy, then it is placed on pita bread with some vegetables and a sauce.
This cooking method gives authentic gyro spots the classic flavors we all know and love.
With gravity working in its favor, the gyro meat is cooked evenly throughout, resulting in juicy, flavorful meat with crispy edges.
Coal-fired rotisseries create the perfect char for the gyro, adding to its flavor and texture. So if you want to eat a gyro that tastes great and has authentic textures, you should visit your local gyro specialist.
The Pronunciation and Name Matter, Too.
Gyro comes from the Greek word γύρος (pronounced yee-ros), which means turn or revolution. In ancient Greece, γύρος was also the word for a circular or rotating movement.
The gyro’s name, then, is a direct reference to how the meat is cooked on a spit. This is why upright rotisseries are important to making the perfect gyros—the cooking method is part of the name itself!
As mentioned earlier, the word gyro comes from Greek, which means “to spin.” The word gheereezo, “to turn,” is also thought to be related to the gyro. Historically, gyros are a recreation of the rotating Turkish döner kebab, while the Greek name for the dish comes from the movement of the rotisserie it is cooked in. In America, we might’ve called it a spinwich, but thankfully, we used the much cooler Greek name.
Due to their tricky pronunciation, gyro sandwiches are sometimes mistaken for the Italian-style hero sandwich, but they aren’t the same. The gyro is much closer to a traditional hoagie, po’boy, or sub.
Regardless of how you say the name, the outcome of ordering one will be the same: gyros are sure to leave you with a mouthful of amazing, other-worldly Mediterranean cuisine. The next time you eat a warm bundle of pita and spit-roasted meats, remember this article and appreciate this sandwich’s rich cultural and culinary history!
Visit the Best Gyro Spot in Indiana Today
As far as Mediterranean food goes, George’s Gyro Spot, well, hits the spot! We serve homemade local food with deep connections in the Indiana area, such as Chicago dogs, Italian beef, Polish dogs, Greek gyros, and even more. Check out our online menu for more, or drop by our locations every 10:30 AM to 9 PM Mondays to Saturdays and 11 AM to 8 PM on Sundays!