Nothing says Greek cuisine like an authentically prepared gyro, and Gyro World in Ridgewood and Flushing, NY, is the best local spot to get your fix. You may know that a gyro is a Greek sandwich made of either beef, veal, or mutton topped with tomato, onion, and tzatziki sauce and wrapped in pita bread—but with this dish, there’s more than meets the eye.
Here, Gyro World offers five fun facts about your favorite Greek treat:
- The Vertical Rotisserie: One of the reasons gyros are so unique is the way the meat is cooked. It’s stacked on a vertical skewer and cut off the sides into perfectly cooked strips. Evidence links cooking meat on a skewer to ancient Greece, but grilling on a vertical spit wasn’t developed until the 19th century in Ottoman Bursa.
- Literal Meaning: As a Greek dish, the word gyro comes from the country’s native language. In Greek, “gyro” means “turn,” an appropriate tribute to the cooking technique.
- Pronunciation Confusion: The proper way to pronounce the word gyro is an issue debated all over the world. It’s pronounced “jee-ro,” “jai-ro,” and “gee-ro,” but with no letter G in the Greek language, it’s naturally pronounced “yeh-ro.”
- American Introductions: While the idea of combining rotisserie meat and tzatziki sauce into a pita bread sandwich has been a part of Greek cuisine for generations, it wasn’t introduced to American taste buds until 1965. George Apostolou started serving the country’s first gyros at his restaurant in Chicago, IL.
- A World Record: 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.
The next time you feel like indulging in a gyro, impress your friends with your newfound knowledge. Stop by Gyro World in Ridgewood or Flushing, NY, for that one-of-a-kind Greek delicacy. To preview their menu in advance, visit the restaurant online.