Kacik in Greek or Tzaziki in Turkish
Yogurt is derived from the Turkish word yoğurt, which isn’t at all surprising given the abundant yogurt used in their cuisine. One of the first recorded evidence of yogurt consumption is found in an 11th century Turkish book describing its use by the local nomads. Yogurt has been a staple in Central, South and Western Asia as well as the Balkans for centuries. Isaac Caraso, from a Jewish Sephardic family of Salonica Greece, was the first to mass produce yogurt in 1919. He was inspired by the a nobel prize winning Russian microbiologist, Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov, who believed that yogurt helped to cure stomach ailments as well as increase longevity. Caraso’s company, located in Barcelona, was named Danone, or little Daniel after his son. The name expanded into the United States under the name Dannon.
1 cucumber, cut into small cubes
1 bunch dill, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper
250 ml yogurt, drained
Combine all the ingredients and mix well. In Jordan dried mint replaces dill and a few tablespoons of water is added to the yogurt for a more soupy consistency.
Yogurt is also served plain with fresh za’atar leaves (Majorana syriaca) or purslane (Portulaca oleracea) in the Levant. Delicious eaten together with zaátar pita (simply made by toasting pita bread with olive oil and zaátar spice) and vegetable salad.