Gyro

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Michael Hoffman
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RE: Gyro 2004/12/17 14:49:48 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by yumbo

Are gyros an American invention? Or do they really eat gyros back in the homeland?

-Yumbo

I understand the gyro was invented by a Spartan warrior who had lost his left hand to an Athenian just before lunch. Being hungry, and with lunch hour almost over, he had the man at the kebab cart slip the lamb chunks off the skewer and into a piece of pita bread. "Could you put some of that tzatziki sauce on there," he asked, thus giving birth to the drippy gyro that we know and love today.
#31
carlton pierre
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RE: Gyro 2005/06/08 18:34:04 (permalink)
The number of ethnic eateries in south Florida is simply astonishing, but I had a great gyro today in Deerfield Beach at the Olympia Flame Diner, on Federal Hwy (US 1). Customer chose the restaurant and said he eats there frequently, always busy, excellent menu which included seafood as well.
#32
Cornbread
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RE: Gyro 2005/11/13 19:31:34 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by yumbo

Are gyros an American invention? Or do they really eat gyros back in the homeland?

-Yumbo
#33
MilwFoodlovers
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RE: Gyro 2005/11/13 20:36:12 (permalink)
In Milwaukee , the owners of all the shops I've gone to pronounced it YEE-rohs. Years back I went to Diana's Grocery in Greektown, ordered an YEE-rohs and the proprietor asked "You Grek?" I've never pronounced it differently since then.
#34
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RE: Gyro 2005/11/14 10:30:29 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Cornbread

quote:
Originally posted by yumbo

Are gyros an American invention? Or do they really eat gyros back in the homeland?

-Yumbo



Gyros are an American version of a greek dish invented by greek fast food vendors in NYC.
But, if you go to Greece now, you can get Gyros.
#35
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RE: Gyro 2005/11/14 12:51:59 (permalink)
From an article in the New York Times, September 4, 1971, "The Gyro, a Greek Sandwich, Selling Like Hot Dogs"
"A sandwich that is said to have originated 2,000 years ago is capturing the attention of Manhattan's quick eaters. The sandwich, a Greek gyro, pronounce "year-oh" is a lamb, tomato and onion concoction nestled in a fold of a soft bread called pita. More than 30 Greek snack stores selling the gyro have opened in Manhattan in the last year, according to the proprieter's estimates. In a heavily trafficked areas such as Times Square, three stores have opened in the last two months. Why has the Greek Gryo gained a prominent place in the fast food race? Store owners, patrons and native Greeks agree that the two major reasons are that the gyro is "different" and "delicious...The increase in the snack's popularity may be related to the large number of Americans who visit Greece and sample the local cuisine...The term gyro denotes a ring or circle and refers to the rotation of the meat as it is cooked. Greek historians attribute the origin of the dish to soldiers from the army of Alexander the great, who skewered their meat on long knives and cooked it by repeated turning over an open firet. Modern gyros are cooked on an electric rotisserie and are sold for prices ranging from 85 cents to $1...A Young Greek couple enjoying a gyro or "doner kebab" at the new Plaza de Athena on Broadway at 45th Street said they thought the food was "close to what it's like in Athens."

Also see:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyros
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C3%B6ner_kebap
#36
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RE: Gyro 2005/11/14 17:08:35 (permalink)
A quick check of my presumption found this:

http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodsandwiches.html

Gyros & doner kebabs

The history of gyros poses some unexpected questions. Certainly, the ingredients (lamb, pita bread, grilled vegetables, & seasonings) were known to Ancient peoples of the Middle East. Kebabs (roasted skewered meat) and other spiced meat minces have been sold by Middle Eastern and Greek street vendors for hundreds of years.

"...[one of the] the most highly regarded dishes of Baghdad [9th century AD]: judhaba (also called judhab)...Judhaba was basically roast meat; one thinks of shish kebabs....In the case of judhaba, the first thing to note is that the meat in question is not a skewer or kebab grilled over coals but something sliced off a large cut of meat roasted in a clay oven--an tannur (tandoor)--and then, as we have seen, minced fine. The sweet that accompanies it was actually the essence of the dish, the judhaba proper. It was a sort of sweetened Yorkshire pudding, stuck under the meat as it roasted to catch running fat and meat juices...The only surviving tenth-century cookbook, Kitab al-Tabikh, the contents of which date mostly from the ninth century, gives no fewer than nineteen recipes."
---"What to Order in Ninth-Century Baghdad," Charles Perry, Medieval Arab Cookery, Essays and tranlations by Mxime Rodinson, A.J. Arberry & Charles Perry [Prospect Books:Devon] 2001 (p. 220-1)

Gyros, as we know them today, presumably evolved from this tradition. Food historians generally agree the name "gyro" and the current product are both recent inventions, originating in the New York. According to the New York Times, modern gyros were very popular in the city during the early 1970s. They were marketed as fast food and embraced by diners looking for something different.

#37
jeepguy
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RE: Gyro 2005/11/14 18:32:03 (permalink)
It's Year-ose, but i think many like myself love the Tzatziki sauce the best. Would you like Tzatziki sauce with your Gyros? Yes, never without. And extra onion and tomato.
#38
Cornbread
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RE: Gyro 2005/11/19 23:07:17 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by yumbo

Are gyros an American invention? Or do they really eat gyros back in the homeland?

-Yumbo


Having lived in Athens (while working foodservice for the Olympic Games)I ate my wieght in Gyros. You can find gyros in just about any taverna in any sized town in Greece but you would be hard pressed to find one made with the "lamb loaf" type that americans are used to. As a matter of fact I never saw lamb..mostly Kotopoulo (chicken) and sausage with a wonderful yogurt mustard sauce. Some vendors even put french fries (fried in olive oil)in the flatbread is well.

Now I have to go and salavate......
#39
hellsreach
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RE: Gyro 2006/06/15 13:30:07 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by yumbo

Are gyros an American invention? Or do they really eat gyros back in the homeland?

-Yumbo


Yes, having spend at least 6 weeks of my life in various islands of Greece, I can say without a doubt that they certainly do eat Gyro's in the "homeland". They are as common as pizza joints or hotdog vendors in our own cities. Gyro's are what you grab and go as you are roaming the streetside vendors selling plates, trinkets, and bad leather purses and jackets.

There are few differences that I noticed between the Grecian version and the American. The biggest difference I noticed was, while it is certainly common to have a side of fries come with your Gyro here in the States, it is actually more common than not that the Greek vendors put the fries INSIDE the Gyro across the pond. This is probably because, as stated above, gyros are moble food items. You are not, so much, meant to sit at a table and eat them.

To disagree with the previous poster, in the islands (I've never actually been to the mainland) the most common ingredient is certainly lamb. While they do sometimes have chicken and other options, I'd be comfortable in saying 100% of the gyro vendors in the places I've spent some time in, cut chunks of lamb off a spit to fill their gyros--just like the Americans do.
#40
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RE: Gyro 2006/06/15 13:52:33 (permalink)
Still, the "gyro" is basically an American "invention." Although, the ingredients were available to the Ancient Greeks.


#41
Pat T Hat
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RE: Gyro 2006/06/15 22:53:47 (permalink)
If your ever on the west side of Cincinnati check out Sebastians on Glenway Ave. Great friendly family who have been doing them right for thirty years!
#42
caratzas
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RE: Gyro 2006/06/16 00:35:28 (permalink)
It's been over 15 years since I've been to Greece, but all the gyros I had over there were made from chunks of lamb* sliced from an array of strips arranged like a circular staircase around a skewer. The whole schmear revolves around a vertical axis in front of a grill, just like here in the U.S. If you've had a shawarma or doner** kebab that's what they're like. There's quite a bit of cross-pollenization between Greek, Near Eastern and Middle Eastern cuisine.

My research suggests the "gyro loaf" you find in the U.S. is an American invention, though it wouldn't surprise me if they've made it back to the old country by now.

----
*Well, supposedly lamb. For years there were questions about the provenance of the meat in the sandwiches (horse was frequently suggested as a possibility, as well as stray pets.) Many vendors' sanitation was questionable too. For a while it was so bad that Athens banned their sale from street carts.

**Not a "donair" -- that's a Canadian gyro, which typically uses the same kind of gyro loaf that you find in the U.S.
#43
V960
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RE: Gyro 2006/06/17 10:31:13 (permalink)
I built a charcoal gyro cooker many many years ago. I used a cheap rostissire motor under an old hubcap that had a attached spike that was to hold the meat. I used some fence (not galvanized) to hold the charcoal in a half moon shape.

I didn't use the ground meat recipes. Having had the layered meat method in Europe, I went that way. Same spices anyway.

But we could only use it at fairly big parties because you end up w/ a speciality meat in a fairly large quantity. I'm not even sure where this thing is located now. Last time we used it was for a Super Bowl party and we had half the meat left over. The ribs, chili, and bbq we all eaten completely...but twenty or so pounds of great gyro meat went into the freezer. Three months later...fifteen pounds of gyro meat goes to the pigs.

#44
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RE: Gyro 2006/09/02 01:55:02 (permalink)
in new york city- take the d or q to brooklyn and get off at kings highway. a little turkish resturant on east 16 st ablock from the station. the best gyro's and dishes. greeks use procesed meat, the turks use alternate slices of beef and lamb on a vertical spit. way better. in columbus go to the mad greek
#45
seafarer john
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RE: Gyro 2006/09/02 12:07:01 (permalink)
It does'nt take much imagination to see how "Yee-ro, Year-ro, etc. could be easily corrupted to "Hero". Is it possible that that the name for the Greek sandwich somehow was adopted by Italians and applied to an entirely different concoction? How else did the "Submarine", "Sub", "Torpedo", "Wedge" become the "Hero" in some neighborhoods?

Cheers, John
#46
Michael Hoffman
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RE: Gyro 2006/09/02 13:07:31 (permalink)
If you could eat a whole sub sandwich you were a hero.
#47
Ashphalt
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RE: Gyro 2006/09/02 13:35:17 (permalink)
I fell for Gyros when I lived in NYC. They were cheap and plentiful. (And, oddly enough, at the time I found Gyro II to be unacceptable because they made their tzatziki with mayo instead of yogurt.) Most places served Kronos and had the upright rotisserie, occasionally I'd find a place in the outer Boroughs that made their own. The meat would be shaved off the turning spit, and then grilled to get a bit of crisp on the outside.

I was terribly disappointed when I moved back to Boston. Even at places that serve Kronos, it's just not the same. I guess it just has to do with the smaller volume. The meat is never as bright tasting, or as well prepared. Last place I knew (now gone) that served an excellent gyro made their own as a once-weekly special and cooked it in a loaf pan, then sliced and grilled to serve. We do, however, have several middle-eastern shops selling good doners which are somewhat different, but a good substitute.
#48
Jaybomb
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RE: Gyro 2006/09/21 22:17:53 (permalink)
Yes, it is both lamb and beef. It is a wonderful, GLORIOUS meal/sandwich that is only complete with: lettuce, tomato, tzatziki sauce, feta cheese, and onions. I hear from my pharmacy manager who is currently in Greece NOW, that french fries are also common place IN THE SANDWICH. mmmmm

If any of you lucky folks know who Alton Brown is, you'll LOVE him right now. Why? The reason is simple.

Alton Brown can TELL YOU HOW TO MAKE GYROS AT HOME!!!!!!!

Yes, look it up. I've yet to try it, but I need to. I've been blessed with a Gyro King near me, and they're wonderful.

PS- If they don't crumble the feta on it for you ontop of the sauce and splay the whole Gyro out for you like a giant salad/sandwich... you're missing a part of the magic.
#49
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RE: Gyro 2006/09/22 10:25:56 (permalink)
being on a low carb diet, I've been resigned to eating a gyro salad, which is basically just a greek salad (olives, tomato, onion, feta, cukes, lettuce)with the gyro meat and tzatziki sauce. Which is fine with me, I miss the warm pita, but I'll grab one over Christmas when I fall off the low-carb wagon from Dec 24 through Jan 1.


#50
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RE: Gyro 2007/01/20 15:34:24 (permalink)
Oh how I love gyros! And I've only had ones at the mall and such. Thanks Jay, for the tip on Alton Brown's at home version. I will take a gander and see what it is all about. Anyone remember the Seinfeld episode about gyros??? Love it.
#51
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RE: Gyro 2007/01/20 16:28:20 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by curried bluebonnet

............ Anyone remember the Seinfeld episode about gyros??? Love it.


Mmmmmm, Gyros!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pJimz7bfXI
#52
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RE: Gyro 2007/01/20 17:02:32 (permalink)
No, I don't believe gyros are an American invention. I eat Shawerma's when I was in Saudi Arabia. They were made with chicken, beef or lamb. They were roasted on a vertical spit (cone) and the meat was shaved off and served on pita bread. Man those things were good.

I've never eat a Greek style gyro. I can't find them here in south Georgia.
#53
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RE: Gyro 2007/01/20 18:35:55 (permalink)
Gyros came on the scene as far as I am concerned in the early 70's in East Tennessee. I sure did enjoy them but it seems they have gone another direction??

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
#54
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RE: Gyro 2007/01/23 17:01:13 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by edwmax

No, I don't believe gyros are an American invention.

I've never eat a Greek style gyro. I can't find them here in south Georgia.


all the research regarding Gyros (as they are known) state that they were invented by a Greek-American street vendor in NYC.
certainly the ingredients and similar recipes were available to Greels, Turks and other middle eastern and mediterranian countries before the street vendor started selling them. But, the Gyro was created in the US.

I'll repost one source's information:

http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodsandwiches.html

Gyros & doner kebabs

The history of gyros poses some unexpected questions. Certainly, the ingredients (lamb, pita bread, grilled vegetables, & seasonings) were known to Ancient peoples of the Middle East. Kebabs (roasted skewered meat) and other spiced meat minces have been sold by Middle Eastern and Greek street vendors for hundreds of years.

"...[one of the] the most highly regarded dishes of Baghdad [9th century AD]: judhaba (also called judhab)...Judhaba was basically roast meat; one thinks of shish kebabs....In the case of judhaba, the first thing to note is that the meat in question is not a skewer or kebab grilled over coals but something sliced off a large cut of meat roasted in a clay oven--an tannur (tandoor)--and then, as we have seen, minced fine. The sweet that accompanies it was actually the essence of the dish, the judhaba proper. It was a sort of sweetened Yorkshire pudding, stuck under the meat as it roasted to catch running fat and meat juices...The only surviving tenth-century cookbook, Kitab al-Tabikh, the contents of which date mostly from the ninth century, gives no fewer than nineteen recipes."
---"What to Order in Ninth-Century Baghdad," Charles Perry, Medieval Arab Cookery, Essays and tranlations by Mxime Rodinson, A.J. Arberry & Charles Perry [Prospect Books:Devon] 2001 (p. 220-1)

Gyros, as we know them today, presumably evolved from this tradition. Food historians generally agree the name "gyro" and the current product are both recent inventions, originating in the New York. According to the New York Times, modern gyros were very popular in the city during the early 1970s. They were marketed as fast food and embraced by diners looking for something different.



#55
Michael Hoffman
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RE: Gyro 2007/01/23 17:07:54 (permalink)
As I recall, the very first gyro I ever had came from a place called Souvlaki Palace. It was located near the corner of Broad and High streets in downown Columbus, Ohio. That was in September or October of 1971.
#56
buffetbuster
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RE: Gyro 2007/01/23 17:26:21 (permalink)
Mike & Tony's on the Southside of Pittsburgh has long been a local institution and is the best place to get a gyro in the city.
#57
eggsactley
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RE: Gyro 2007/02/04 11:02:49 (permalink)
Spartan 8th Ave./68th Street in Brooklyn. Great tomato salad to go with a gyro.
#58
Gyro King
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RE: Gyro 2007/10/23 13:20:40 (permalink)
Gyros, as we know them in North America, were invented by Chris Tomaras. Obviously, similar dishes have been served far back in time throughout the Middle East and Mediterranean. But what Americans think of as gyros was invented in Chicago in the late 60s/early 70s. Mr. Tomaras invented the Kronomatic, the machine that cooks the meat on a spit. He was good friends with my father and I actually went with him to Leon's, a Chicago sausage manufacturer, where he had a discussion about how to serve gyros as a sandwich. This was in the early 70s. The man from Leon's suggested encasing the gyros like a sausage, an idea Chris quickly discarded. He originally served gyros on french bread at his bar, The Sports Corner on Addison and Sheffield. Then he had the idea to put them on pita. This is all factual. No legend or BS.
#59
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RE: Gyro 2007/12/11 20:56:48 (permalink)
ive never had a good gyro since i got back from greece
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