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Unread 03-14-2013, 08:35 AM   #1
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Default When Did Gyros Become Ground Meat?

We have a Greek restaurant in Burlington that sells gyros made of ground meat, not thin sliced meat placed on a vertical rotating spit and shaved off to serve when cooked.

Gyro translatrd from Greek means turn, round, or rotate. Has any one had a real gyro? If so, what was your take on it?

Here is Wikipedia's description:

"Gyro (food)
This article is about the Greek snack. For other uses, see Gyro.
(For the Turkish dish see Döner)

Gyros

Gyros sandwiches in Greece, with meat, onions, tomato, french fries, and tzatziki sauce rolled into a pita
Origin
Place of origin Greece
Details
Type Meat or sandwich
Main ingredient(s) Meat: pork, chicken; occasionally veal, lamb, or beef
Sandwich:gyro meat, tomatoes, onions, tzatziki sauce, pita
A gyro (pron.: /ˈjɪəroʊ/ yeer-oh,/ˈʒɪəroʊ/ zheer-oh;[1] Greek: γύρος, [ˈʝiros], lit. 'turn') is a Greek dish of meat roasted on a vertical spit. It is also commonly served in a sandwich, called pita gyro or psomaki gyro depending on the type of bread used, with tomato, onion, french fries and optional sauce, wrapped in pita or sandwich bread.
To make gyros, pieces of meat are placed on a tall vertical spit, which turns in front of a source of heat, usually an electric broiler. If the meat is not fatty enough, strips of fat are added so that the roasting meat remains always moist and crisp. The rate of roasting can be adjusted by varying the strength of the heat and the distance between the heat and the meat, allowing the cook to adjust to varying rates of consumption. The outside of the meat is sliced vertically in thin, crisp shavings when done. It is generally served in an oiled, lightly grilled piece of pita, rolled up with various salads and sauces. The pita and gyro meat themselves are the only obligatory ingredients."
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Unread 03-14-2013, 08:44 AM   #2
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Every gyro I have ever had, used sliced and not ground lamb.
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Unread 03-14-2013, 08:47 AM   #3
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Are we talking about Gyro's or Taco's???
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Unread 03-14-2013, 08:49 AM   #4
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I think it's just a convenience thing for making them at home, or for a restaurant that does not have the vertical roaster set-up. I prefer the whole muscle meat ones, but the loaf ones are pretty good.
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Unread 03-14-2013, 08:53 AM   #5
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I don't know that it should be called a "gyro", but I'm sure it is still good.

Gyro meat is traditionally made from ground meat with added spices, then that meat is formed onto a stick that is spun like a rotisserie style to roast it. I wouldn't take too much offense if it was simply formed into loaves and roasted that way because the flavor would still be pretty much identical.

For me, the deal breaker with using ground meat that you simply cook up in a loose meat fashion is that the texture would be different. That would be the biggest difference. The change from roasting a hunk of formed ground meat to either pan/griddle frying a bunch of ground meat or simmering it in a pan can affect flavor as well.

I have seen Gyro Burgers before, where the meat is formed into a patty, grilled and that patty placed in a pita and dressed like a standard gyro. I don't find the term "Gyro Burger" bothersome, because it describes it well. I honestly am not sure what to call simply cooking up a bunch of loose gyro meat, but it seems a bit deceptive to just put that in pita with standard dress and call it a "Gyro". Some description should be used to signify the difference.

All just my opinion, which based on past experiences isn't worth much in today's economy.
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Unread 03-14-2013, 09:00 AM   #6
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The answer to your question has been addressed a few times recently on this forum

One was posted 2 hours earlier today and there are other recent ones on the same topic.
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Unread 03-14-2013, 09:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motley Q View Post
You should have searched other posts regarding ground meat "yearos" before you asked your question.

One was posted 2 hours earlier today and there are other recent ones on the same topic.
That post is why I started this thread. I didn't want to hijack it. Yearos is just another way to say Gyros.
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Unread 03-14-2013, 09:13 AM   #8
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In my book gyros from ground beePh is a no no...never have seen it at a Greek restaurant or snackbar,only have seen it come by on this Phorum.
There are alot of Greek joints where I live and they all make it on a vertical rotisserie made out of slabs of meat stacked.
If you're gonna ask for ground beePh gyros in The Netherlands the Greeks will probably look Phunny at you.
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Unread 03-14-2013, 09:15 AM   #9
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KronosProducts, based in Glendale Hts. IL claims to be the largest supplier of "premium gyros" They sell enough to make about 300,000 gyros per day

They have what they call cones. They come in 100% beef, beef/lamb combo, or 100% chicken

They are ground, pressed cones, that mount to the roasters. A "true" gyro would be meat stacked on a skewer, but for the sake on convenience, most gyro places around here use the cones. I think it also makes for more consistency in the end product.

I personally have never seen anything but the ground meat cones anywhere in this area, and gyro's are pretty popular around these parts.

I have seen something similar in Mexico, called tacos al pastor with meat stacked on a skewer with a pinapple on top. They trip bits of the meat into a tortilla, and top it off with a hunk of the pineapple
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Unread 03-14-2013, 09:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigabyte View Post
I don't know that it should be called a "gyro", but I'm sure it is still good.

Gyro meat is traditionally made from ground meat with added spices, then that meat is formed onto a stick that is spun like a rotisserie style to roast it. I wouldn't take too much offense if it was simply formed into loaves and roasted that way because the flavor would still be pretty much identical.
I am saying in this thread just the opposite. Gyro meat is not traditionally made from ground meat.
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Unread 03-14-2013, 09:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JandJbuidasmoker View Post
Are we talking about Gyro's or Taco's???
Thats funny- I use to go to lunch with this very large size Mexican guy and we would go to eat Greek food- he would always mess with the Greek guy and ask for an extra "tortilla"...they always gave him a hard time about it it and got a little upset..he would just laugh lol.
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Unread 03-14-2013, 09:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoke&Smoke View Post
KronosProducts, based in Glendale Hts. IL claims to be the largest supplier of "premium gyros" They sell enough to make about 300,000 gyros per day

They have what they call cones. They come in 100% beef, beef/lamb combo, or 100% chicken

They are ground, pressed cones, that mount to the roasters. A "true" gyro would be meat stacked on a skewer, but for the sake on convenience, most gyro places around here use the cones. I think it also makes for more consistency in the end product.

I personally have never seen anything but the ground meat cones anywhere in this area, and gyro's are pretty popular around these parts.

I have seen something similar in Mexico, called tacos al pastor with meat stacked on a skewer with a pinapple on top. They trip bits of the meat into a tortilla, and top it off with a hunk of the pineapple
This reminds me of country fried "steaks" and veal "cutlets" made from breaded, pressed ground meat sold by the big suppliers to restaurants.
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Unread 03-14-2013, 09:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigabyte View Post
I don't know that it should be called a "gyro", but I'm sure it is still good.

Gyro meat is traditionally made from ground meat with added spices, then that meat is formed onto a stick that is spun like a rotisserie style to roast it. I wouldn't take too much offense if it was simply formed into loaves and roasted that way because the flavor would still be pretty much identical.
That would be traditionally in the US not in Greece.
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Unread 03-14-2013, 09:50 AM   #14
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I think the problem you will find is that there is not one single "traditional gyro". It's a wild goose chase.

Instead there are variations on what gyro's mean across the world. In one area they mean one thing, and in another area something different. In each area you can say "that is an authentic gyro", but that same gyro won't fly somewhere else.

So, I think you can take ANY definition of Gyro, and replace the "ground meat" part of your title with that, and find problems with the definition.

It's like asking "When did BBQ become anything other than pork"?
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Unread 03-14-2013, 09:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigabyte View Post
I think the problem you will find is that there is not one single "traditional gyro". It's a wild goose chase.

Instead there are variations on what gyro's mean across the world. In one area they mean one thing, and in another area something different. In each area you can say "that is an authentic gyro", but that same gyro won't fly somewhere else.

So, I think you can take ANY definition of Gyro, and replace the "ground meat" part of your title with that, and find problems with the definition.

It's like asking "When did BBQ become anything other than pork"?
I see your point.
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