How is Your Gyro Served?

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greek gyrosOn a recent trip to Greece, I quickly realized that everything I thought I knew about Gyros was wrong. While I had thought that they were always made the same way, with the same kind of meat, I learned that there are actually a few options. While most gyros have tzatziki, the famous yogurt sauce, and chopped tomato and onions, there’s actually a lot of variety as to what kind of meat it is and how it’s served. Here’s an overview of the different ways that it’s usually found in Greece.

In a Pita or on a Plate?

One of the biggest lessons I learned is that Gyros aren’t always served in giant pita bread. Sometimes, when you order a gyro, they give you all the elements on a plate including the meat, onions, tomato, tzatziki, and pita bread. Places that specialize in serving gyros this way also have a few times of gyro meat to choose from. Typically, gyros are made from pork, chicken, lamb, or as a combination of all these. When you order, you need to tell them which type of meat you want. Even though chicken is available at most of these places it doesn’t seem to be popular. Usually, people order lamb, pork, or some combination of the two. These plates are also usually served with French fries.

Is it Prepared Gyro Meat or Souvlaki?

BBQ chickenAnother thing I quickly learned is that gyros aren’t always made with the prepared gyro meat, although that seems like the most common choice. This meat is usually formed onto a spit and kept warm throughout the day. When it’s time to make the gyro, whether it’s in a pita bread or not, they will shave off enough for one portion using a long, sharp knife.

However, not every gyro is made this way. Sometimes, fresh souvlaki is used, instead. In fact, if people make their own gyros at home, souvlaki is the common choice, not the prepared meat. Souvlaki can be made with any kind of meat, including lamb, pork, or chicken. Cubes of meat are speared and grilled with onions, peppers, and tomatoes. The meat is then cut up and eaten as a gyro.

Gyros in the United States are Different

Another thing that I quickly learned while in Greece is that gyros in the United States are slightly different. Although the prepared gyro meat that is used outside of the Greece is similar to the meat found in Greece, gyros do taste different. In Greece, there are usually more choices as to the kind of gyro meat you can eat. In the United States, most places only serve one choice, and it’s usually a combination of pork and lamb. The sandwiches are prepared differently, too.  For instance, it’s fairly common in Greece to put French fries inside the gyro, but this isn’t done in the United States. No matter how you make them, they are always delicious!

Please visit our Gyros section to try some of our unique recipes.

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This post was written by Greek Boston

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