Greek cuisine incorporates traces of both the East and West. Thanks to Greece’s unique history, the food is a collaboration of different cultures. A delicious blend of fresh cheeses, olives, herbs, citrus, olive oils, and meats that help set Greek food apart. The cooking heritage shows off the supplemental freshness of the culture and honed techniques. Traditionally, local Greek cuisine utilizes a mixture of pork, poultry, veal, beef, lamb, rabbit, and goat. It’s the way Greek street food showcases the preparation and cooking techniques of the meat that makes it sought after. Souvlaki and pita yeero are prime staples of modern Greek food.
What is a Yeero?
Greece is known for its deliciously healthy cuisine, with its own signature street food. The famous pita souvlaki and pita gyro or pita yeero are fast food staples, along with feta cheese, ouzo, and tzatziki. Gyro, γύρος in Greek, translates to “turn” and stands for a greek dish of meat that is roasted on a vertical spit. It’s typically served in pita bread with tomato, onion, and tzatziki sauce.
To make yeeros, pieces of meat are placed on a tall vertical spit. The spit turns in front of a source of heat. For meat that isn’t fatty enough, strips are fat are often added to keep it from drying out. This ensures the rotating meat remains moist and crisp throughout the entire turning process. The rate of roasting is adjusted by the distance of the meat to the heat source and by the strength of the heat. The meat is then sliced vertically in thin, crisp shavings. Then, it is often served in a lightly grilled piece of pita that has been rolled with vegetables and sauces.
Is it a Yeero or Gyro?
Yeeros and gyros are the same food item, just spelled differently. Yeeros were introduced to the United States via Chicago between 1965 and 1968. Eventually, Greek store and restaurant owners got tired of the mispronunciation of gyros and listed it on menus as the phonetic pronunciation. They literally spelled it out — yeeros. The name gyros is most commonly used in American and Greek-American restaurants and stores.
What is Souvlaki?
Another delicious Greek food, very similar to yeeros, is souvlaki. The marinated meat is grilled on a skewer. Pork is traditionally used for the dish, but chicken, lamb, and beef are also common. It is usually eaten straight off the skewer while it’s still hot and can also be enjoyed over a bed of fresh veggies, or in a warm pita.
Souvlaki vs Gyros
Warm pita? Doesn’t that make it a gyro? Many confuse gyros (yeeros) with souvlaki. The two dishes hold many similarities at times, but there is a significant difference. The word souvlaki translates to “spit,” which implies it is cooked over fire.
Souvlakis and gyros are equally popular in Greece. When it comes to global eaters, gyros (yeeros) are more well-known, especially in the United States. Both dishes are Greek street foods made with meat that can be served with the same ingredients, served as pita bread, or in full portions. How the meat is prepared and cooked is the key in identifying the difference. Souvlaki is made with small pieces of grilled meat, while gyros consist of slices of meat shaved from a vertical rotisserie.
Delicious Differences between souvlaki and yeero
Both yeeros and souvlaki are delicious and its in part to the tender and flavorful meat. The main difference between the two types of meats is how they are cooked. And the way they’re cooked changes the flavor immensely. No matter which is tasted, both are delicious and are bound to encourage sampling of the other, and to be tried in a wide variety of ways.
For those looking to taste the difference, SVL Souvlaki Bar serves both souvlaki and yeeros on their restaurant menu. The yeeros come in a variety of protein options and can be ordered as a pita bread. They are also available as a shot, which offers a sampling of four mini pitas served with tomatoes, onions, fries, and a choice of sauce. Souvlaki is also served in a variety of proteins and can be ordered as sticks. SVL Souvlaki Bar offers a modern fast-casual dining experience as well as sustainably packaged togo options that can be ordered online.