While there are numerous comfort food staples across the country, one of the most famous is the gyro. Whether you’re getting it at a food cart, or see it on the endless menu of your favorite diner when you stop in for a late night snack, these delicious and unique Greek sandwiches make for the ideal treat. But, what exactly is a gyro and what goes into making the perfect one? Read on to find out.
What Is a Gyro?
The gyro sandwich (which is correctly but not often pronounced as “yee-ro”) is a traditional Greek sandwich. It’s a little bit like a taco and a hamburger had a baby. It is, however, uniquely and completely Greek. A gyro is made of delicious beef, lamb, pork, chicken, veal, mutton or a mixture of any of these things cooked and seasoned with delicious spices. It is then thinly sliced and piled on fluffy pita bread. A gyro is then usually topped with onion, tomato, lettuce, and a delicious yogurt-based cucumber sauce called tzatziki.
How Do You Eat a Gyro?
A gyro is generally eaten by wrapping the pita around the meat, toppings, and sauce, and doing your very best not to have the entire sandwich end up in your lap. It is a messy and delicious experience that requires a lot of napkins. However, the mess never stops anybody from getting them as they are irresistibly delicious.
Where Do Gyros Come From?
Greek gyros derive from the Turkish doner kebab. This is a type of Turkish kebab made of meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie, like the famous Arab Shawarma or Mexican Al pastor. Doner kebab was invented in Bursa in the 19th century by a cook named Hadji Iskender. Since then, doner kebab has evolved into the gyro, a popular meal and snack in both New York City and Athens by the 1970’s. Since then the gyro has blown up, becoming a popular dish in food carts and restaurants around the world.
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Tags: classic Greek cuisine, gyro, menu items