Spelled variously, Tsatsiki, Satsiki, Tzatzik in Greece, this appetizer sauce which combines at its most common level, yogurt and cucumber, is recognizable in the cuisines of India, Iraq, Iran, Armenia, the Caucasus, Turkey and the Balkans. Cucumbers, a specie of the gourd plant, originating in the foothills of the Himalayans, most likely began its millennial pas de deux with yogurt during the Moghul rule of India by the Persianate Muslims as an attempt to cool down the spicy dishes the natives were making for their overlords. The Indian word for yogurt and vegetables (obstensibly cucumbers is raita. Eventually spread by the Ottomans, the Turkish word for chutney, caciq, (from the Armenian, cacig) came to describe dishes made of yogurt/curd and cucumber morphing into the word, Tzatziki, the Greek condiment for Gyros and grilled meats.
For over 26 years, the Gardens has strained Old Home yogurt for three days reducing the water content by half, mixed in the peeled, seeded and grated cucumber, garlic, EVO oil, lemon juice, herbs and spices for a rich, tangy and garlicky appetizer or topping for our sandwiches.
Not only does Tzatziki add flavor and texture to our sandwiches, eating yogurt with meat aids in digestion.