Tag Archives: yogurt

Revelation of the year: Yogurt and Honey

How, oh how, did it take us so long to realize the wonders of this culinary marriage? Our first stop in Istanbul had introduced us to the wonders of fresh honey – breakfast each day at the hotel supplied fresh honeycomb, which we liberally spread on, well, everything – but Greece made us realize what it means to spread that honey all over some smooth, rich, yogurt. Our first day in Santorini, we walked into Oia and hopped into a cute cafe. Our honey love having been born only a few days before, M opted for the “yogurt and honey” for 4.5 euros. What came out was nearly a meal – a large bowl of Greek yogurt drowning in honey. This quickly became our newest obsession: we scoured the island, and the rest of Greece frankly, for versions of this culinary delicacy. Both of our hotels in Santorini had great versions, but Crete took things to another level.

Vrysses Yogurt

The famous yogurt of Vrysses, Crete

The small town of Vrysses, in central-west Crete, is famous around the island, and most of Greece, for the honey produced there, as well as the yogurt that goes with it. Driving into the small town square, the central fountain plaza is surrounded by honey shops. With no info to make a decision, we opted for the one that looked the most family-run: Kaprri. We ordered two plates – not bowls here, as they usually come – and we quickly caught on to what makes Vrysses honey so distinctive. The yogurt was approaching the consistency and flavor of sour cream, which was paired with a light clover honey, a wonderful complement that reduced a lot of the overpowering sugary sweetness that we usually associate with yogurt and honey.

In Athens, we were fortunate enough to discover a yogurt and honey BAR, Fresko – yes! – located just outside the spectacular new Acropolis Museum (Fresko, Dionysiou Areopagitou 3, Athens 11742, Greece). Notice: we need this place in the United States. Six kinds of yogurt, two kinds of honey, plus an assortment of smoothies and other drinks. M nearly died and went to heaven, savoring both some honey and a pomegranate smoothie while there.

Fresko in Athens

Fresko in Athens

Back in the USA, we’ve been getting more into the yogurt and honey scene around us. Our favorite brand of Greek yogurt – which we were happy to find also for sale in Lisbon – is Fage. We’ve been buying a four-pack almost weekly, and pairing it with locally-produced honeys at breakfast. Chicago has a great honey collective for those of you around town, the Chicago Honey Co-op.

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Recipe Friday: South African Yogurt Dip

South Africa FlagWe liked the last dish from Marcus Samuelsson‘s book so much we decided to give it another try this week. M is a big fan of yogurt sauces, so we were intrigued by a recipe for a yogurt sauce introduced by Indian immigrants to South Africa during the late 19th century. The dish is intended to take some of the heat off the spicy South African fare, while adding a good dose of tangy flavor at the same time.

Ingredients (Makes 1 1/2 cups):
3 cups plain yogurt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 two-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1 chili (he recommends jalapeño), seeded and finely chopped
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
Juice of 2 limes
2 tsp. chopped cilantro
2 tsp. chopped parsely
Salt and fresh black pepper

Set a fine-mesh sieve or colander lined with cheesecloth over a bowl (we used our colander and a sturdy paper towel). Add the yogurt, cover with plastic wrap, and let drain at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours, or leave in a refrigerator overnight. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and chili and saute until the garlic is golden (about 5 minutes). Add the coriander and cumin and saute until fragrant (about 2 minutes). Let cool briefly, then transfer to a blender, add the lime juice and drained yogurt, and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the cilantro and parsely. Season with salt and pepper.


We have to say, this yogurt sauce is fantastic. Its smooth and tangy, with just the right combination of spices. It would be great on a salad, or wrapped in a gyro with grilled steak or chicken strips. It should store well for at least four days, so we will have to cook up some dishes later this week that make use of our new culinary find. The best part? 7-minute preparation time, all from ingredients we usually have readily available – only cumin was esoteric enough to warrant a grocery trip. We’ll definitely be making this again, possibly alongside another recipe from this great book.

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