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.