Thursday, 19 August 2010

Greek Yoghurt

Taste the original Greek yoghurt
Yoghurt, sour cream and buttermilk can all be lumped into the same category when it comes to baking. They’re all dairy products that help to tenderize baked goods and can be a bit on the tangy side. At least, plain yoghurt can be a bit on the tangy side. For years, it seemed like the only way you could buy yoghurt was pumped full of sweeteners, flavorings and mashed up fruit. Plain yoghurt has definitely enjoyed a resurgence in popularity over the past couple of years. Not only does this mean that we now have access to better quality yoghurt, but there are more types of yoghurt to choose from. Greek yoghurt is the obvious example of this, as at least 50% of all recipes that include yoghurt now seem to specify “Greek-style yoghurt” over any other kind.

Greek yoghurt is known for having a much thicker, creamier consistency than regular, non-Greek yoghurt. It gets this texture from the way that it is produced, not from the introduction of gelatin or other stabilizers to the finished product. It starts out the same way as any other yoghurt, with milk and an active yoghurt culture, but before packaging the yoghurt is strained to remove some the excess whey from the yoghurt and make it thicker. You can find flavored Greek yoghurt cups in many shops, but the basic Greek yoghurt is plain and has a slightly tart taste to it.

Greek yoghurt is usually made from sheep's milk, although cow's milk is also common. It has strong flavour, it is rich in fat and thick in texture. Greeks eat great quantities of yoghurt. They eat it plain, they mix is with honey and nuts or with sugar and spoon sweets. In Greek cuisine yoghurt is used as a sauce on top of meat (like in a version of moussaka, which has a layer of yoghurt on top). It is also used as a dip, mixed with herbs and vegetables, like in tzatziki, the famous Greek side dish, which is made out of strained yoghurt.

In villages yoghurt is sold in clay pots
What is really yoghurt? One can say that yoghurt is a kind of cheese. Both cheese and yoghurt are considered thickened milk. The difference between them is that yoghurt holds most of the milk's moisture, which makes is more "watery" than cheese and slightly sour in taste. If you strain a yoghurt for 24 hours you will notice that most of its moisture will be lost and it will look like a cheese. Yoghurt is very healthy and rich in nutrients. It is the perfect substance for those who cannot drink milk.

If you travel around Greece you may notice that in villages yoghurt is sold in clay pots or in goatskin bags. Of course, those who produce large quantities of yoghurt deliver it in plastic containers. Nowadays big food industries produce yoghurt, which do not look like traditional home made yoghurts. They are more thick in texture and more sweet in taste.

Do you want to taste the real original Greek yoghurt? Go to and book your hotel in Greece.

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