For Greeks in Greece, it’s inextricably linked to gyros or souvlaki, the pre-eminent Grecian “fast food”. For the rest of the world, it’s an independent dish that’s now among the world’s most popular dips.

What is it? It’s tzatziki, the strained yogurt appetizer or side dish prepared with garlic, salt, olive oil, and sometimes cucumber.
With slight variations, the spread can be found across the Near East and as far away as Persia, but it is its identification with the popular cuisine of summer-time Greece that has made it an international sensation.

For the online culinary site TasteAtlas, tzatziki ranks second among 64 featured dips, spreads and condiments, right behind the celebrated guacamole. The site also accompanies its review with a “traditional recipe” for adventurous home chefs.

While it is the most popular Greek dip, it certainly isn’t the only one, with other favorites including fava, tirokafteri, a spicy cheese-based dip; skordalia, a garlic-and-potato or bread spread (known as tarator in Turkish) and the eggplant-based melitzanosalata.