A Brief History of the Gyro

The gyro, like many cultural dishes, has humble origins. Originating in Greece, the sandwich was likely influenced by Turkey’s doner kebabs and the Middle East’s shawarma. Throughout the years, the gyro has proven to be a delicious, affordable dining option that has become a staple of modern American cuisine.

Cultural Origins A man standing in front of a tall fixture of gyro

Some food historians believe the traditional way of preparing a gyro stemmed from the way soldiers in Alexander the Great’s army would skewer meat on their swords and roast it over their campfires. If one were to trace the history of the gyro further, some resourceful Greek chefs likely drew inspiration from cooks in the Middle East who cooked up shawarma on vertical spits. The sandwich component was based on Turkey’s doner kebab, which is served either on bread or in a wrap.

American Integration in the ’70s

Whether due to travelers picking up a taste for Greek cuisine or Greek immigrants bringing a taste of home to the States, Greek food took off in popularity during the 1970s. In places like New York and Chicago, where rates of Greek immigration were particularly high, the craze really took off. According to a report in The New York Times, up to 30 Greek restaurants opened in Manhattan during 1971 alone.

Modern Gyro Consumption

Modern versions of the gyro typically involve lamb, beef, or a combination of both that’s cooked slowly on rotating vertical spits. The meat is then cut off in strips and served on warm pita bread. The other toppings are usually lettuce, tomatoes, and tzatziki.

Kabob & Gyro Grill is your best bet for Mediterranean food in Lodi, California. We pride ourselves on authentic and flavorful menu options that will keep you coming back. Visit us today at 920 S Cherokee Lane or place a catering order online for your next event.

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