An original Greek recipe for creating that wonderful sauce you have become accustomed to in fine restaurants, which is called Tzatziki.
This is an hors d'oeuvre made mainly from yogurt, cucumbers, and garlic.
This dip is a Greek tradition that dates back many years.
The dip has many variations from neighbouring countries of Greece, for instance, the Turkish call it Cacık, The Bulgarians and Serbians call it "Tarator", and the Iranians have a slight variation to the dish and call it "mast-o-khiar", which means yogurt with cucumber.
Now that we have some background information, let us start making some of that wonderful sauce.
You must realize that not every Greek person was willing to reveal their method of making Tzatziki.
As a matter of fact, I challenge you to find a person who would willingly give their specific recipe for Tzatziki.
We persisted and found this lone elderly Greek lady who was kind enough to provide us with the following recipe suggestion for Tzatziki:
2 or 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 to 4 Cloves Garlic
1 cup Greek Yogurt
1 cup Sour Cream
Dill, Salt (preferably Sea Salt), Pepper, Lemon Juice, Parsley, Peppermint Leaves.
Cut Garlic into fine pieces.
Wash, peel, remove the seeds and dice the Cucumbers.
Combine Sour Cream, Yogurt, Cucumbers, Olive Oil, Dill, Salt, Pepper, Lemon Juice, Parsley, and Peppermint Leaves.
The recipe specifically calls for Greek Yogurt but in Canada and the United States it is very difficult to obtain genuine Greek Yogurt.
This subject is very complicated since in the U.S. and Canada most companies produce a yogurt and label it Greek Yogurt without realizing the implications and the difference.
In a few words, they are getting away with murder.
Greek Yogurt is made from sheep or goat's milk and is a subject we will discuss later.
However, the closest one to the real thing, especially in Canada, is the brand by the name of Astro, as per the above picture.
At least this brand properly labels its product, "Balkan Style Yogurt", which is correct as far as representation.
Nevertheless, the product is very, very good.
Pour the ingredients in a Blender and mix well until smooth and creamy.
Pour the mixture into a glass bowl. It should be wonderfully smooth and creamy.
And Voila! Your Tzaziki is ready to be consumed.
Basically, enhance any of your favourite foods with this dip and enjoy.
Just so you know, Tzaziki is the sauce used in your Soulvaki or Gyros wrapped in Pita Bread.
And remember this:
The Arabians stole this recipe from the Greeks and after 500 years, they are still fighting it out in court.
Please remember that the final outcome of your Tzaziki is totally dependent upon the quality of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Therefore, using anything else but Mr. Goudas will jeopardize your creation.
This statement is very accurate. Some companies label questionable oil as Extra Virgin Olive Oil or even use hazelnut oil and by adding a green colour call it Extra Virgin.
Read the book, The Olive Tree, to discern the differences in the production of Olives and Olive Oil and the various categories. It is one of the most informative information booklets availabe on this subject.
Your Tzaziki deserves the best Extra Virgin Oil on the market, Mr. Goudas Extra Virgin Olive Oil which is grown, produced and packaged in Greece with an acidity level of 0.1 to 0.8 percent.
The recipe calls for very little Olive Oil so why not treat yourself to the best Extra Virgin Olive in the world.
Spyros Peter Goudas
Σπύρος Πήτερ Γούδας