Let me share with you the hell I went through late Sunday night, so you never have to experience it. I was out all day Saturday and ended up having lunch at a Greek restaurant. I had a gyro meat salad with no bread. I woke up at 2:30 AM with a screaming headache that lasted for several hours. I suspected the gyro meat had gluten in it, but the last time I researched this I came to the conclusion that gyro meat didn’t have gluten. Seems I researched this question incorrectly.
Traditional recipes for gyro meat do not have gluten. However, many Greek restaurants today are not making their gyro meat on premise using traditional recipes. Like many other modern restaurants they use food service companies. So it doesn’t matter what the traditional recipes for gyro meat call for. The only thing that matters is what the food service companies are selling to these restaurants.
Commercial Gyro Meat
Three of the major suppliers of gyro meat in the USA are Kronos Products, Olympia Foods and Grecian Delight. Grecian Delight posts their gyro nutritional information on their website. Bread crumbs is listed as the 3rd ingredient. Interestingly, their gyro meat also has MSG. Kronos doesn’t post their nutritional information, so I contacted the company and confirmed that their gyro meat is not gluten free. Olympia Foods has a color sales brochure on their site that states their gyro meat has wheat and soy in it.
If you find yourself stuck at a Greek restaurant, your safest bet is to get kabobs or a Greek salad. I confirmed with Kronos that their kabobs are gluten free. What you don’t want to do is get the falafel, which also contains wheat. Other things I learned today during my research is that the hummus you thought had olive oil might be using soybean oil. And the Tzatziki sauce has a number of questionable ingredients.
Look For the Posters
Have you ever noticed those posters of women holding a gyro? That is a sign that the gyro meat was purchased from a food service company and not made on premise.
If a restaurant makes their own gyro meat on premise, it is highly unlikely that you’ll see a food service poster. At that point you can ask the proprietor if they use gluten. Assume they do.
Gluten is NOT Necessary For Gyro Meat
If you search online for gyro recipes, the majority do not include wheat or soy or MSG. Why do food service companies add breadcrumbs? Perhaps the bread makes the meat pack together better for shipping? Or maybe it is just a cost issue. Fluff up the expensive ingredients of beef and lamb with dirt cheap bread.
This post explains why I cook 99% of my own meals. We are being poisoned one meal at a time with toxic ingredients. Fortunately, I have solved the gyro meat riddle at home with two recipes.
If you operate a Greek restaurant in the Seattle area that makes your gyro meat on premise and without gluten, please leave a comment on this post, otherwise I’m boycotting all of you. I prefer hunger to a massive headache.