At first glance, gyros may look no different than a kebab – juicy meat snuck in between a warm pita bread topped with veggies and sauce. However, while they both share a Mediterranean background, they cannot be more different than each other.
Gyros is best enjoyed on a hot sunny day on the beach or a picnic. For some of us, gyros are delicious and addictive as the portion is just perfect for a snack and to pack. Even better, the dish is balanced and healthy, so you don’t have to count your calories.
What is Gyros
Gyros is a traditional Greek dish prepared by wrapping grilled meat – typically beef, lamb or pork around fresh pita bread along with tomato, onion, leafy greens and tzatziki sauce. It is a derivative of the doner lamb kebab but is distinguished by the spices used to marinate the meat.
The name gyros come from the Greek word “γύρος” which translates into circle or turn as a reference to the round pita bread and the method of cooking the meat using a rotisserie.
History of Gyros
The gyros are a result of influences from the Turkish and Greek culture. At first, gyros were called doner kebabs, and they were introduced by immigrants from the Middle East when they move to Athens following World War II. Because of Muslim influence, the immigrants only used beef or lamb as part of the dish. The Greeks, however, tweaked it by replacing beef with pork. Hence, gyros were created to distinguish between the two dishes.
By the 1970s, gyros quickly became the fast food of choice not only for the people of Athens but also grew popular in New York and Chicago. Gyros Inc is said to be the one responsible for the introduction of Gyros to America.
Traditionally, gyros are prepared by the Greeks by grilling fresh meat and cutting them into slices. However, when Gyros Inc brought the recipe over to America, they decided to mass-produce the dish by using minced beef to cater to a bigger market.
Nutritional Content of Gyros
Most Mediterranean cuisines are known to be healthy because of its use of fresh, organic ingredients and healthy cooking method. For example, grilling and using olive oil.
A serving of gyros is a good source of protein because of the meat used. Gyros also make use of Greek yoghurt, which is an excellent source of probiotics that promote a healthy gut environment. Other ingredients used in making the dish such as cucumber and tomatoes are a good source of vitamins and minerals that are essential to our body.
Where to get Traditional Gyros in Malaysia
Kebabs are often easy to find in night markets and food trucks across Malaysia, but getting your hand on traditional Gyros can prove to be quite the challenge. For a quick bite of the Greek classic, please make your way to Restoran Spitfire in KL and try their varieties of lamb gyros. The restaurant offers Lamb Gyros with Briyani, Lamb Gyros with Chips as well as Lamb Gyros with Potato Salad. They also have family packs inclusive of 4 lamb gyros.
For more choices on Mediterranean cuisine, you can also scroll through the foodpanda app and discover other Greek cuisines that are available for delivery close to you.