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Got Yoghurt?

Superstitious me thinks it’s a bad idea to show you this picture of the yoghurt delivery I got this week 🧿

The yoghurt you see, 15 kg in total, is not exclusively for Dervish Kitchen use. In fact, a good portion of this delivery is for our personal consumption. I know it’s just the kiddo and me, but we’re Syrian and back home it used be the norm to buy yoghurt in buckets ranging from 1-5 kg. Anything less than a kilogram would be just a waste of packaging! Here’s why:

We never eat yoghurt as dessert. Plain yoghurt is mostly eaten as an accompaniment to rice and bulgur dishes and with certain pastries. It can be diluted into Ayran or strained to make Labneh. It can be mixed with bulgur then left to dry in the sun to form Kishk (not be confused with Kishke khadra, the fresh version of this dish that you find at Dervish Kitchen).

You also have all those dishes formed by stirring veggies or grains into fresh yoghurt (as you would do with Tzetziki) to make refreshing summer side dishes, and on the other hand, you can cook yogurt to make hearty stews with meat or various dumplings.

Nonetheless, it was never necessary for me to buy more than 5 or 6 kg at a time. The local Biedronka carried a very decent Greek yoghurt at a reasonable price and it was available in all their branches on regular basis. Then, a few months ago, it disappeared without warning and I had to scramble for a replacement. None of the options at supermarkets was of same quality so it was a relief when the old yoghurt reappeared again. But it soon became clear they’d tampered with the original recipe.

My son complained about how the yoghurt was too runny and lacking flavor and substance: “It looks like ayran not yoghurt!”

He was right and after two subpar batches of Kishke, I gave up and stopped buying it, but we had to find an alternative. I finally found a premium yoghurt that was a pleasure to eat and cook with. It was double the price of the old yoghurt and hard to find in nearby supermarkets, so I started ordering it wholesale.

Now, whenever the yoghurt delivery arrives, I scramble to make room for it in the fridge but it’s a labor of love as it means we won’t be going yoghurt-less any time soon. And there’s an air of contentment at our home, like a pair of dragons eyeing their hoard with satisfied glee.

Life is good when you have yoghurt in the house.

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