Grilling meat on a vertical spit and slicing it off as it cooks was a culinary technique developed in the mid-19th century Ottoman Empire. It was called doner kebab. After World War II, doner kebab made its way to Athens, and the Greeks developed a distinct variation made with pork, wrapped in flatbread and served with a side of tzatziki sauce. By the 1970s, gyros were a favorite fast food in Athens. The gyros quickly immigrated to Chicago and New York City, when vertical rotisseries were beginning to be mass-produced.
However, the meat was still produced by hand. That changed, when Margaret Garlic watched a Greek restaurant owner make gyros on the game show What’s My Line? Margaret convinced her husband John to start mass-producing the meat. She got a recipe from a Greek chef, the Garlic’s rented a space in a Milwaukee sausage factory in Milwaukee and began producing mass-produced gyros meat made from lamb and beef scraps.
Today, you can enjoy the best gyros in Mesa, AZ, as well as Athens, New York or Chicago. While in Greece, gyros are typically made with pork, and chicken is also common. However, beef and lamb are used rarely in Greece. However, mass-produced gyros meat in America is commonly made with finely ground beef blended with lamb. Gyros meat is typically seasoned with a spice blend of salt, black and white pepper, sweet and hot paprika, garlic, parsley and oregano. However, with homemade gyros, other spices can be added, such as anise, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, allspice, fennel and sumac. The meat is then served on a grilled piece of pita bread, with chopped onions, sliced tomatoes and tzatziki sauce.
The best gyros in Mesa, AZ, reflect a long tradition, stretching all the way back to the Ottoman Empire. Gyros is a taste that is timeless.