Difference Between Gyro and Shawarma

Key Difference – Gyro vs Shawarma
 

Gyro and shawarma (or shawurma) both refer to marinated meat that is slowly spit-roasted at a very high temperature, allowing the meat to cook in its own juices. Both these foods are derived from the Turkish Kebab Doner and are generally served on a flatbread or right on the plate. The key difference between gyro and shawarma is their origins; gyro is a Greek dish whereas shawarma is an Arabic dish. Other differences such as toppings, seasonings, and garnishes also vary according to this basic difference.

What is Gyro

Gyro is a Greek dish influenced by the Turkish Kebab Doner. This dish is usually made from lamb, beef or a mixture of both. Pieces of meat are seasoned with a blend of rosemary, oregano, thyme and marjoram. Then these pieces are placed on a vertical rotisserie, which has the shape of an inverted cone and turned slowly in front of a heat source allowing the meat to cook in its own fat.

Gyro is usually served with oiled, lightly grilled pita, rolled with various salads and vegetables such as lettuce and cucumber. Garnishes used with this include tomato, onion and tzatziki sauce, mustard, and garlic yogurt.

Key Difference - Gyro vs Shawarma

What is Shawarma

Shawarma or Shawurma is a Levantine Arabian meat preparation, which is similar to Gyro. This dish usually uses meat like lamb, chicken, and turkey. Cooking involves placing chunks of meat on a vertical spit and are grilled for as long as a day. The shavings that are cut off the block of meat are served while the remainder of the meat is kept on the spit. The seasoning of the meat is based on cardamom, turmeric, cinnamon and cloves; there can be different variations on this basic mix.

The meat can be served on a plate with other accompaniments or eaten as a wrap or sandwich. It is usually eaten with fattoush, tabbouleh, taboon bread, tomato, and cucumber. Shawarma toppings include tahini, amba, hummus, and pickled turnips.

Difference Between Gyro and Shawarma

Shawarma as a roll up sandwich

What is the difference between Gyro and Shawarma?

Origins:

Gyro is a Greek dish.

Shawarma is an Arabic dish.

Meat:

Gyro is usually made using lamb, beef or pork.

Shawarma is usually made using lamb, chicken, and turkey.

Seasonings:

Gyro is seasoned with a blend of rosemary, oregano, thyme and marjoram.

Shawarma is seasoned with cardamom, turmeric, cinnamon and cloves.

Garnishes:

Gyro is eaten with tomatoes, onion and tzatziki sauce, mustard, garlic yogurt, etc.

Shawarma is eaten with fattoush, tabbouleh, tahini, amba, etc.

Image Courtesy:
“Gyro sandwich” – Originally uploaded at Flickr  by jeffreyw as ‘Mmm… gyros’. Transferred by Fæ (CC BY 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia 
“Shawarmafood” By Peteravivangel – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia