What is Tzatziki?
So I’ve been searching around the net for a Tzatziki recipe. My results were: out of 10 recipes the 9 are about a yogurt dressing, using either lemon or dill. There was only one recipe, that represented real Greek Tzatziki. A bit disappointing isn’t it? This dip is famous for a reason and you deserve to be able to find out why.
Now I don’t doubt that these recipes are really nice, but you can’t sell a smoothie for a milkshake for example. Only because they both contain milk. And to make things clear, I’ll begin by telling you what Tzatziki really is. For those of you that haven’t tried it, Tzatziki is a creamy, strong flavored bread dip. A really refreshing appetizer.
Tzatziki is originally made with FULL FAT Greek yogurt, cucumber, vinegar, olive oil, PLENTY of garlic (not just a hint), salt, and pepper. That’s it! No lemon, no dill, no light yogurt. Tzatzikis recipe is the same all around Greece. No alterations and no different types.
In a proper Tzatziki, you can actually taste the flavor of garlic. In fact, there is even a (much overused) joke in Greece about Tzatziki and first dates due to the smell of garlic.
It’s all about the yogurt:
You definitely need a full-bodied Greek yogurt. Do not use a low-fat yogurt, it won’t taste half that good and I’m trying to save you from the trouble. Besides, Greek yogurt is well-known for its health benefits. So there, you have another reason to use it. The one I used is with a 10% fat. So in case, you can’t find any Greek yogurt, just grab one that has a good percentage of fat. Oh, and do not worry about calories (especially us women). After all, we do need proper dairy products to keep our bones healthy. I’m not a nutritionist but that is a well-known truth, that we better keep in mind.
The uses of Tzatziki in Greece:
Traditionally, Tzatziki was made in the summer. Due to the cucumbers growing mostly in June. Now we make it all year round. It’s a must in every Greek grill house There’s absolutely no chance of visiting a Greek taverna and not find Tzatziki on the menu.
It’s the wife of Souvlaki. It’s in pita gyros. It’s a must on the Greek Easter table, accompanying the lamb on the spit. That may look a bit brutal, but it is something we do wait a whole year to eat (that good it tastes). All in all, it became famous for a reason. And that reason, I will leave it for you to decide once you try it….