Step into the enticing world of tzatziki, the Mediterranean masterpiece that has transcended borders. Celebrated in Greece, this delightful yogurt-based sauce boasts a rich history dating back centuries. Featuring a harmonious blend of Greek yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, olive oil, and various herbs like dill, tzatziki is beloved for its refreshing flavor and versatility. From a gyro condiment to a simple dip with pita, this delicious sauce can be used in a number of delicious ways.
In the pursuit of culinary excellence, and spurred on by my love of all things Greek, I embarked on a flavorful journey to uncover the finest tzatziki options available on grocery store shelves. My mission: Meticulously taste-test and review each brand, dissecting the nuances of their ingredients, textures, and craftsmanship. From the traditional recipes passed down through generations to modern adaptations infused with innovative twists, I've navigated through a diverse array of brands to uncover the best. Who will emerge victorious in the battle of flavors and textures? Let's find out!
7. Trader Joe's
Normally, I have good things to say about Trader Joe's snack options, but the brand's creamy garlic and cucumber dip was a major fail. As I took my first bite, I was convinced someone used mint instead of dill in this dip, and boy was I right — spearmint leaves are listed at the bottom of the ingredient list. Holy bananas, this was horrible. Mint and garlic were the only two flavors I noticed in the profile, creating a train wreck of tastes. I've made my own tzatziki for years, and never have I ever thought to add any type of mint. Those leaves overtook the entire tub.
While some tzatziki recipes add mint to change up the flavor profile, I love the traditional taste of classic tzatziki, and if that's the case for you, you'll probably want to steer clear of Trader Joe's version of this Greek staple. I still can't believe I put a TJ item last on one of my lists, but there's a first for everything. When it comes to tzatziki, I'll stick with my own recipe, and you should, too.
6. Signature Select
Next up is Signature Select, a grocery store brand that can be found on shelves such as Safeway, Shaw's, and Star Market. Unfortunately, this tzatziki yogurt dip was another huge disappointment and another experience where the bite didn't match the expected tzatziki flavor profile at all. After the first taste, all I could do was ask, what is in this?
The only flavor I could find was soap, and I am so serious about this. I took a second bite to be sure I had this right, and that second bite was more painful than the first. The floral notes ruined my day, and I'm still unclear where they originated. Most of the ingredients listed follow the typical tzatziki formula. I looked to see which herbs were added, but the only item listed that may shed some light was "spices," which tells me nothing.
While the texture of this option was great — thick and creamy — you couldn't pay me to eat this again. I guess if you like eating lavender and jasmine-flavored foods, give this one a try. I'll be running away from this option.
I found Cava tzatziki at Whole Foods and was interested in giving it a try since I'd never heard of this brand. Cava's tzatziki is vegetarian, gluten-free, and seemingly has a "traditional" tzatziki ingredient list, including Greek yogurt, cucumber, dill, salt, and garlic. With all that said, this option was pretty bland.
The cucumber flavor was pronounced, but there's depth missing in this dip. The profile and texture were somewhat watery, even with a chunky base of ingredients. There was no real savory flavor either, just hints of garlic in the aftertaste. This one tasted like tzatziki's distant cousin.
Cava wasn't necessarily bad, and it thankfully wasn't weird or gross like the last two, but there isn't much to write home about. I think you could take this container and make it your own, adding more of the flavors you love, but when it comes to the best of the best on grocery store shelves, this one missed the mark.
Next up is the Cedar brand, known for its hummus selection, which made me eager to try its tzatziki. The look and smell both seemed to fit traditional tzatziki, so I had some high hopes for this one.
The flavor profile started off tart, with the taste mainly focusing on the yogurt. There was some garlic and a little dill on the back end, but it wasn't enough for me. While this ingredient list did claim to include all the traditional ingredients, the balance was definitely off. Even though you can see a lot of dill in the yogurt, that dairy taste overtook the entire flavor profile, leaving the cucumber, salt, and dill in the dust.
I didn't like this option and would most likely make my own dip versus eating this one. Maybe I'm picky, but if it's not a balanced profile and one ingredient sticks out too much, that tzatziki is not for me.
3. Whole Foods 365
Breaking into the top three is Whole Foods' 365 version of tzatziki. While I didn't love this cucumber garlic dill dip, it was way better than the rest of the group thus far. The first taste you'll find is the Greek yogurt and a lot of it, but there is some garlic and a little dill mixed in too. However, the dairy taste from the yogurt really took over, leaving this flavor profile unbalanced. Regarding texture, this one was more up my alley. It wasn't super thick or chunky, offering a rich and creamy feel.
Compared to the rest of the list, this option had a lot of the right flavors, but I couldn't find all of them in every bite. I think this one would work great on sandwiches or in wraps, combined with other flavors and products, but I wouldn't choose this for a dip. Needless to say, at this point, I still hadn't found my Goldilocks tzatziki.
After all is said and done, my top two choices are the only options I'd ever willingly pick up and eat again. The second of those choices came from Joseph's, offering a creamy and thick-textured tzatziki which had a decent flavor profile. This cucumber and garlic yogurt dip is gluten-free and contains all the flavors you want in a traditional tzatziki sauce.
While I couldn't really pick out each flavor note, the salt and garlic took center stage, offering a savory and consistent bite every time. In this regard, Joseph's flavoring stood out for sure. But what I truly loved was the texture — my favorite on the list. It's thick, rich, and not super chunky. I have no notes on that front.
Overall, Joseph's wasn't a favorite, but it was pretty good comparatively. I think I'd still make my own tzatziki over choosing this option, but I would buy it without complaint in a pinch. If you need a quick go-to tzatziki, Joseph's is a fine choice.
1. Boar's Head
My first-place pick, Boar's Head Greek yogurt dip, truly surpassed the rest in this tzatziki showdown. It was the only option on this list that really wowed me. As someone who never buys store-bought tzatziki, this one was the only brand that stood up against my homemade competition when it comes to both texture and taste.
The flavor profile here was quintessential with a delicious balance of dairy and dill, light cucumber, and limited garlic. While the texture wasn't super thick and chunky, it wasn't watery or thin by any means. You'll find a true balance of flavors and texture with this one. I really can't say much else — good or bad. If you're not making your own, Boar's Head is the only brand I truly suggest.
Boasting no artificial colors, a Kosher label, and gluten-free branding, I'm crowning Boar's Head the king of store-bought tzatziki. To me, this is the closest option I found to homemade, and the only tub I'd reach for if I wasn't making my own. Give it a try and see for yourself!
When it came to the methodology for this article, I personally taste-tested each item. I tried each tzatziki on its own, dipped with pita, and on a carrot to see how the flavor profile would emerge each time. While the texture of any food item is important to me, I definitely put more emphasis on the taste in this trial, looking for traditional flavors and a balanced profile. If it didn't stand up to my own tzatziki recipe, it didn't make the positive critique cut.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.