Ever wondered what the heck was the difference between a Gyro, Donair or Shawarma?


Well East of Main went exploring and met up with Karim, the Owner of Mediterra - a Mediterranean restaurant within the AMS Student Union Building at UBC.

He gave the quick and dirty... Nothing!

They are just the different terms for the same food item - a bread-wrapped meat dish. It is called a Gyro in Greek culture, a Shawarma in Lebanese/Middle Eastern, and Donair in Turkish traditions.

The meat is placed on a spit and is grilled. The fatty parts ensure the meat stays juicy. In addition spices are added to the meat to give it a unique and tasty flavor.

The base of meat, veggies and flour-wrap (usually a pita) is the same for each culture, but each has its variation in the toppings such as using Tzatziki in Greek / Turkish culture or Tahini, hummus, and pickled turnips in the Middle Eastern traditions.

FYI: Tzatziki is a sauce made of strained yoghurt sauce (usually with sheep's- or goat's-milk) with cucumbers, garlic, salt, olive oil, pepper, sometimes dill, sometimes lemon juice and parsley, or mint added= Tasty!

So next time you go to the West End and see all the Shawarma places or travel along Broadway/Lougheed and see the Gyro or Donair places - you'll be eating the same type of wrap!

NEXT STORY: What's the difference between Halal or Kosher - or is there any??

AuthorWells Stringham