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While the idea of roasting pieces of meat on a rotating spit have roots which are thought to date back to ancient times, the modern gyro made its way from Greece to North America in the 1960s and was initially served at small restaurants in Chicago. As the Greek community grew in Chicago, there were a few contenders who claimed that they were the first to make gyros a fast-food choice. Whoever was responsible for it, the tasty trend eventually took off in the 1970s.
Here are some fun facts about Gyros
In the Greek language the word “gyros” is literally means “to turn”.
September 1st is National Gyros Day.
Despite its popularity, the Gyro is one of the most mispronounced foods of all time, being pronounced “jee-ros”, “jai-ros” or “gee-ros”, however, the correct Greek pronunciation is ‘Yeh-ro”. There is no true letter G, in the Greek language and the Greek letter gamma is pronounced “yeh”.
The gyro earned worldwide fame when Saimi Eid, a Greek restaurant owner, cooked up the world’s largest gyro. At 8,866 pounds, he cooked his massive sandwich with 72 grills and two tons of natural gas.
Gyro vs. Shawarma
People usually confuse Gyros and Shawarmas – however, there is a difference between the two even though they may seem similar to the untrained eye. There’s more flexibility around cooking a shawarma than a gyro. While it’s widely agreed upon that a gyro is lamb and/or beef topped with tomato, onion, tzatziki (and maybe a little hot sauce), all served on a thin pita, a shawarma allows for more wiggle room. Maybe it’s made with chicken, or maybe goat; maybe it’s got some cinnamon and tahini sauce on it, or maybe not.
The great thing about gyros is they are quick to assemble and are appealing not only because of their reputation for being utterly delicious but also because they can be eaten on the go. In the end, the gyro is a perfect fast-food alternative – however you slice it – figuratively speaking. The best part of Gyros is that they are not only great in their classic application, but are a great secret weapon and can be as versatile as operators’ imaginations.
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