Two similar but distinct cuisines, gyros, and shawarmas, have gained popularity as global street foods. They were both influenced by the cooking method used to prepare Turkish doner kebabs,shawarma which date back to the Ottoman Empire. The method is piling meat onto a rotisserie or vertical skewer to create a cone-shaped structure that gently rotates adjacent to a heat source to cook the meat.
As a result, gyros and shawarmas are comparable in that they’re prepared with the same meat, frequently served on pita bread, and cooked in a vertical rotisserie. However, these two dishes are distinct from one another because they are the mainstays of two distinct Mediterranean cuisines. Additionally, the notion of what defines a “genuine” or “traditional” gyro and shawarma has probably changed and may have minor variances depending on who you question and what region they are from.
This is because cultures adapt through generations. The similarities and differences between gyros and shawarmas are examined in greater detail in this article.
For more detail, check this: 7 Best Gyro Machines To Make Your Life Easy
History Of Qyros Against Shawarma:
A key distinction between a gyro and a shawarma is where each meal is from. The history of gyro Greek cuisine is the source of gyros. The Greek term for “round,” which describes the vertical rotisserie in which the meat is roasted, is the root of the word “gyro.”
Additionally, fresh ingredients commonly found in Greek cooking are used in the preparation and topping of gyros. Typically, lamb, beef, hog, or chicken is used to make gyros, and thyme, oregano, and rosemary are used to season the meat.
After the meat’s outer layers have finished cooking, they are sliced thin and put on pita bread. Some gyros variants could additionally include hummus. Then tzatziki, a typical Greek dip or sauce made with yogurt, cucumber, olive oil, garlic, and herbs like dill, mint, or thyme, is added to the gyro along with tomato, red onion, lettuce, french fries, and tzatziki.
History of shawarma:
The name and components of the Middle Eastern cuisine shawarma reveal a lot about the region. The Turkish word “çevirme,” which also describes the method of cooking the meat, is where the word “shawarma” originates.
Shawarmas are typically made with lamb, chicken, veal, or turkey, however, they are also made with a combination of meats. They are frequently served on pita bread or wrapped in a flatbread smeared with hummus.
But spices like turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and garlic are used to season the meat. It comes with tabbouleh and is topped with pickled vegetables and tahini, a Middle Eastern sauce consisting of crushed sesame seeds (a traditional bulgur-based salad).
A garlic sauce may also be added to some shawarmas. In other versions, there are also fries, lettuce, onions, and tomatoes. Hummus is not a component of all shawarma varieties.
Comparing the flavors and ingredients of shawarma versus gyros:
The key distinctions and similarities between gyros and shawarmas are listed below:
While gyros and shawarmas share several ingredients and have a similar appearance, they each have a distinctive flavor profile that is mostly influenced by how the meat is prepared before cooking.
Typical components of gyros versus shawarma:
Shawarmas and gyros are sandwich-like foods that share the following ingredients:
Pita bread: Pita provides both recipes with their distinctive structure, whether it is eaten as a flatbread or split into a pocket and filled with contents. They also primarily obtain their carbs from it (1Trusted Source).
Meat: Gyros and shawarmas frequently use lamb and chicken. While chicken is a sort of white meat and lamb is a type of red meat, both are excellent sources of protein because they include all of the required amino acids, which must be obtained from the diet. After all, the body cannot create them.
Optional additions to both:
Middle Eastern dip known as hummus is created by blending cooked, mashed chickpeas with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and seasonings. It has a lot of nutrients, including fiber, good fats, vitamins E and C, folate, magnesium, potassium, and iron. As a result, numerous health advantages have been connected to it.
Comparing the flavors of gyros with shawarma
Gyros and shawarmas taste very different while having many of the same basic ingredients.
On the one hand, gyros have a traditional Mediterranean flavor since they are made with raw, fresh vegetables like red onions and tomatoes, and tzatziki, which is made with yogurt, cucumber, and dill.
The meat is additionally spiced just before being placed onto the skewer, and the spices used give the beef a fragrant, light, and faintly minty flavor.
Its ingredients and seasonings, on the other hand, give shawarma a spicier, warmer, and more complex flavor profile, which is emphasized by the range of flavors offered by its customary toppings.
For instance, the dish gets a little tang from the pickled vegetables, which frequently include carrots, cabbage, and onions. The tabbouleh and tahini, which are made of bulgur wheat, diced tomatoes, onions, parsley, and mint, together with lemon juice, olive oil, and salt, provide an earthy yet fresh flavor.
Additionally, shawarma meat is marinated for a longer period than gyro meat—often overnight—to allow for a stronger flavor profile.
Healthy differences between gyros and shawarma
The three macronutrients—carbohydrates, proteins, and fats—are all included in both gyros and shawarmas, which constitute complete meals. A 390-gram meal of beef gyro and shawarma is shown below.
Due to the addition of french fries, gyros typically have a greater carbohydrate content. In contrast, the tahini, which is predominantly made up of heart-healthy lipids, may be the cause of the shawarmas’ elevated fat content (8Trusted Source).
Furthermore, the absence of french fries may allow for more meat, which may account for shawarmas’ higher protein level.
However, remember that the size, kind of meat, and toppings you choose will all affect the nutritional profile of both gyros and shawarmas.
What to eat alongside them:
Gyros and shawarmas are now common street snacks that are frequently eaten on the move by themselves or with a side of french fries.
However, you can serve gyros or shawarmas with a variety of mouthwatering side dishes if your menu will have a Greek or Middle Eastern theme.
You might want to concentrate on pairing them with sides that are high in vegetables because both of them already offer a sufficient amount of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
Gyros, as an illustration, go well with:
l Bell peppers and other roasted vegetables
l a traditional Greek salad prepared with feta cheese, kalamata olives, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, and cucumbers
l a filling moussaka (a Mediterranean eggplant lasagna)
Regarding shawarma, you can serve it with:
A mezze platter is a collection of typical Middle Eastern appetizers, dips, and spreads. It frequently contains hummus, baba ganoush, feta or mozzarella cheese, olives, artichoke hearts, raw and roasted vegetables, dried fruits like dates and figs, and fresh fruits like grapes.
Gyros and shawarmas go well with both beer and red wine when it comes to beverages.
However, you might want to limit your alcohol consumption. According to the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans, males should limit their alcohol consumption to two drinks per day, while women should limit their consumption to one drink per day (9Trusted Source).
As an alternative, you might sip on hot or cold mint tea, a classic non-alcoholic beverage from the Mediterranean region.
Both shawarmas and gyros share the majority of their ingredients as well as their primary technique of preparation.
Their geographical origins and flavor characteristics account for their main variances. Shawarmas are Middle Eastern foods with a hotter and more complex flavor, while gyros are Greek and have a fresh flavor.
Gyros and shawarmas both contain all three macronutrients and are frequently eaten by themselves while traveling. However, by serving them with veg-heavy side dishes, you may get the most flavor out of both.