Trader Joe’s GYRO SLICES


This looked like an interesting idea when I saw it. Despite some trepidation if it could possibly be any good I decided to give it a go.

So what’s “gyro” anyway? Its the Greek version of a certain style of cooking and a street food found in many cultures and parts of the world.

Shwarma, Gyro, Doner Kebab and Tacos Al Pastor are pretty much the same thing: meat, sometimes lamb, sometimes beef, sometimes chicken that is seasoned quite a bit, then placed and layered onto a rotating spit, that is cooked upright as it rotates (get it, gyro?) Oh, and by the way, the way to say Gyro with its Greek name would sound like “Yeero”.

The Gyro chef slices off meat getting the nicely browned outside layer onto bread or a curved metal thing as you can see in the picture below. The slices of goodness are then usually arranged in some type of bread … Pita, Pide or other Arab bread or a in Mexico a tortilla, with veggies (tomatoes, lettuce, cukes) and a sauce of some type (tzaziki, tahina, salsa…)

Turkish, Greek, or Lebanese in origin? Mexico’s dish called Tacos Al Pastor originated from Lebanese who had emigrated to Mexico City, and had opened restaurants, made a type of food that was from their homeland and adapted that dish to a Mexican palate (and they used pork!). Its is hugely popular in Mexico, and delicious. Traditionally there is a pineapple roasting at the very top which is sliced off onto your Taco Al Pastor

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Making one of these towers of meat is complicated. The link below shows all the many steps involved to make a real “GYRO” just in case you wondered or have never seen one of these types of restaurants with a huge rotating “trompo” (spit) in the window.

https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-greek-gyro-is-made-4121890

 

Above: here’s a gyro cook slicing off some meat to make a Gyro… This looks pretty amazing, right?

Now look below at whats actually in the Trader Joe Gyro Slices package! Ugh! Cooking it only improved the look slightly. And it shrunk a good deal, as lots of fat came out.

Read the ingredient list : Beef, Water, Breadcrumbs…   Bread crumbs is the third ingredient listed. Its a binder to hold some ground stuff mixed together which is then pressed into a form, cut into slices, and packaged. Already you can kind of get this is an attempt to make something in a factory setting that’s not at all similar to the real thing – which as you know is just meat with spices layered onto a spit and cooked vertically.

I had a Doner Kebab in Vienna and it was fantastic. I had Tacos Al Pastor in Mexico City, ditto. I’ve had this in many Greek places in NYC and its great. They slice it in front of you and hold the bread to catch the juices as they run off. Yum!

This TJ stuff is not even close.

If you look at what the stuff actually looks like, when you open the package up, you will probably be a bit surprised at how unappealing it looks. . Its a bad idea to begin with. I made it as they suggest on the package, I put the cooked slices onto a pita with some tzatziski sauce with lettuce, onions and tomatoes and it tasted just OK if you ignored the main ingredient – the “gyro slices”. It would not fool anybody. It was OK as far as the the pita, sauce, veggies… but the main ingredient was quite lacking in taste and texture, especially if you ever had a real Gyro Sandwich from a greek joint.

So I give this product an F for FAIL

$4 a package.

RANT

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