Nothing in the world could complement food like gyros, beef kebabs, pita bread, etc., as Tzatziki sauce would do! Thus, we will sate your curiosity, enlightening you with facts about Tzatziki sauce ingredients and their ins and outs!
The tzatziki sauce is made in many ways in different regions of the world. But, the traditional Greek condiment typically includes main ingredients such as Greek yogurt, cucumber, extra virgin olive oil, and vinegar. In addition, spices and herbs like garlic, black/white pepper, and dill weed play a significant role in flavoring this sauce.
Hence, keep reading if you need more in-depth details about this divine Mediterranean relish!
Tzatziki Sauce And Its Ingredients
Properly pronounced as “ja-ji-kee” sauce, Tzatziki sauce is a rich, savory, creamy Greek condiment traditionally served with gyros, Greek souvlaki, kebabs, vegetables, and pita bread. Hailing from the Ottoman Empire, this sauce also has a great cultural history.
Popular as a dipping sauce, the ingredients used in Tzatziki sauce vary depending on different regions of the world. For example, the Turkish use red pepper, walnuts, hazelnuts, etc. in their Tzatziki, while the Balkans even prepare it more runny like a soup.
However, our article will focus on the basic, authentic Greek Tzatziki sauce, which is also popular among the Western community. Here are some insights into the key ingredients, spices, and herbs used to make this decadent condiment.
01- Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is extra flavorful, thicker, and creamier than regular yogurt. Typically, the original recipe of this condiment uses this yogurt, particularly due to its rich texture.
However, we can see that some people even make this dip with regular yogurt or low-fat yogurt. But still, plain (unflavored) Greek yogurt could give this sauce it’s perfect creaminess and flavor.
Crisp, green cucumber is the freshness key to this dip. Most recipes use English cucumbers since they have thinner skin and are extra crunchy.
Cucumbers are often peeled, grated, and squeezed out from their juice before incorporating with the yogurt. Some people even dice this vegetable without grating them if they need their Tzatziki to be chunkier.
03- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil is another staple in this condiment. Good quality extra virgin olive emphasizes the richness of this sauce blending with other flavorful ingredients.
This ingredient mostly goes into the sauce during the process of making it, and some even drizzle olive oil after when it is served. Nevertheless, the quality of your olive directly impacts the final taste of your Tzatziki sauce.
The authentic Tzatziki sauce is never left out with vinegar! Most recipes incorporate white vinegar, while some also use white wine vinegar for added flavor.
The astringent, tart, and acidic notes of vinegar complement the delicate creaminess of yogurt. It balances out the overall taste of this condiment, pairing well with other flavorings like garlic, pepper, and dill.
Spices And Herbs
Pungent, aromatic, and robust garlic is another must-have in the traditional Tzatziki sauce. Fresh, whole garlic cloves are either finely chopped, grated, or minced to a pulp before mixing with the yogurt.
The powerful flavor notes of garlic supplement the sour and creamy bite of the yogurt. At the same time, it pairs well with the flavors of salt, pepper, dill weed, and olive oil.
02- Black/ White Pepper
Most traditional Tzatziki sauce recipes use black pepper, while the usage of white pepper is noticeable in Western cuisine.
However, both ground black and white pepper give a signature peppery, earthy, and woody hint to this sauce getting along well with salt.
03- Dill Weed
Dill weed is usually the last ingredient that goes into this sauce. It is finely chopped and mixed into the prepared dipping sauce to give a beautiful final touch and an interesting flavor.
This herb has a sharp, licorice-like flavor profile with hints of parsley, anise, and celery. Dill weed habitually complements white sauces and goes really well with vegetables like cucumber.
You know you’re Greek when Tzatziki sauce is familiar to you like ketchup is to AmericansAnonymous.
What Are The Other Tzatziki Sauce Ingredients?
Apart from the ingredients discussed on top, salt is used to season this sauce. And in addition, some recipes even include herbs like mint, cilantro, thyme, and parsley.
Moreover, when it comes mostly down to Western cuisine, we see that vinegar has been replaced by lemon juice. And as mentioned previously, additional ingredients like nuts and red pepper are added depending on the region.
Final Touches With The Yogurt-y Condiment…
Tzatziki is a super flavorful and refreshing white dipping sauce with a distinctive flavor. Its rich creaminess is achieved by the Greek yogurt base, and this ingredient is then complemented with cucumber, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, black pepper, dill weed, and salt.