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Tzatziki – All You Need to Know | Instacart Guide to Fresh Produce

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Last Updated: Nov 2, 2021

What is tzatziki?

Tzatziki is a sauce made with Greek Yogurt, olive oil, cucumber, garlic, lemon, and herbs. It often contains either dill, mint, or both and sometimes also contains parsley. It has a sour, creamy taste with a garlicky flavor and an herbal aroma. This light, refreshing sauce is often served on Gyro sandwiches and with other Greek foods. 

Where did tzatziki originate from?

The word “tzatziki” comes from the Persian word “zhazh,” which means “herb mixture.” The roots of this delicious dish can be traced back to India, where natives often made a seasoned yogurt-based dip called raita sauce.

During the time of the Ottoman Empire, the Indians were ruled by elite Persians. When the Persians went back to the Middle East, they brought the raita sauce with them. Over the years, the Greeks experimented with this dish, making changes. This is how the dish now known as tzatziki was born.

What is the nutritional value of tzatziki?

While tzatziki is a rich, creamy sauce, it’s also fairly low in calories. This makes it popular among health-conscious shoppers. In addition, Greek yogurt, the main ingredient in tzatziki, is high in protein. You can dip meatballs in tzatziki sauce or put it on top of grilled meats for a healthy, low-carb, and protein-packed meal. 

The tzatziki sauce is also high in calcium. It also has no cholesterol, so you won’t have to worry about hurting your blood pressure and heart health. 

How is tzatziki made?

You can easily make a simple tzatziki sauce with Greek yogurt, fresh produce, and spices. Put the yogurt in the bowl and add diced cucumber, lemon juice, a minced garlic clove, and some salt and pepper. Stir it all up, and it’s ready to serve!

When is tzatziki in season?

You can find store-bought tzatziki in the deli section of most grocery stores all year long, so you don’t have to worry about it being “in season.” However, if you want to make fresh tzatziki, it will taste best when you use cucumbers in peak season. In this case, the best time to make tzatziki sauce is between May and August.

What should you look for when buying tzatziki?

There are many popular brands of tzatziki sauce in the grocery store – so how do you pick the best one? You could look up “Tzatziki near me” and choose the first option, but that might not be the best method. Instead, it’s a good idea to look at the ingredients list. Since tzatziki is such a simple dish, you may want to avoid brands with many ingredients you can’t pronounce. When comparing brands, it’s also a good idea to choose the one with lower sodium and fewer preservatives. 

There are also different flavors of tzatziki sauce. You may want to experiment with brands that contain different flavorings like thyme, lemon, mint, or olive. You can also find tzatziki that has additional ingredients, like spinach. Once you’ve made your decision, look for the container that has an expiration date as far away as possible. This way, you won’t have to worry about it going bad before you’re ready to use it. 

If you’re planning to have your groceries delivered, you can easily shop for tzatziki sauce via Instacart. After adding a product to your cart, use the “Instructions” option to notify your Instacart shopper about any preferences or provide specific instructions on how to choose the best products.

How to store tzatziki

Tzatziki sauce should be kept in a sealed container and stored in the refrigerator when you’re not using it. As long as it’s stored properly, you can expect homemade tzatziki to last about three to four days. This will depend on how fresh the yogurt was when you made the sauce. Just remember that the sauce will get runnier as it ages and may take on more robust flavors. For this reason, it’s best to eat the dressing within a few days if you can.

If you’re using store-bought tzatziki and you choose the freshest-marked container you can find, you should be able to store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

How to tell if tzatziki is bad

If you think your tzatziki sauce has gone bad, the first thing you’ll want to do is smell it. If it’s starting to spoil, it will often smell sour or have a strong ammonia-like odor. Whenever you notice tzatziki sauce has a strange smell, it’s safest to throw it away.

Tzatziki sauce that has been stored too long will also sometimes get moldy. Since this is an indicator that bacteria is present, you’ll always want to throw moldy sauce in the trash and wash the container thoroughly in hot water before using it again.

What can you substitute for tzatziki?

If you don’t like cucumber, you might think you’ll need to have to miss out on this tasty, refreshing dip. However, you can find other types of dips and spreads that are similar and don’t contain cucumber. Depending on what you’re using it for, you may want to choose a spinach dip, guacamole, or hummus instead. These are all excellent with fresh vegetables, pita bread, or pita chips. You could also make homemade tzatziki and substitute finely shredded zucchini, bell peppers, celery, or even green apples.

Shop for tzatziki today

If you’re looking for an easy, healthy snack, you can’t go wrong with veggies paired with a delicious tzatziki sauce. Instacart offers fresh produce delivery and same-day delivery/pick-up services at many local grocery stores. Our shoppers are also excellent at choosing the best quality items. 

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