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Turkish Food – Loving Süzme Yoghurt

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There are different types of natural yoghurt in Turkey – full fat, half fat, 1% fat, kaymaklı (creamy), to name a few – but our favourite has got to be süzme yoghurt.

We’ve already written a post about how, since moving to Turkey, we have grown to love yoghurt – it’s been quite a long journey – and we’ve posted a recipe for the famous Turkish yoghurt dish, cacık; a refreshing mix of natural Turkish yoghurt, cucumber and mint.

‘Süzme’ means ‘strained’ and the result is a thick, creamy, yoghurt that goes great with mücver (courgette fritters), grilled meats, it can be mixed with chillies, garlic, herbs and eaten as a meze.

It’s just gorgeous. And, as you can see, versatile. It’s a very rare occasion that there isn’t some in our fridge.

Süzme Turkish Yoghurt
Süzme yoghurt is a strained yoghurt that is thick and creamy

You may remember that we posted a recipe for fırında mücver, (oven-baked mücver) back in February. Well, the traditional way to make these fantastic courgette fritters is to fry them.

I made them the other day (as you can see in the photo) and we ate them with the süzme yoghurt (we grated a bit of garlic into it).

Just a brilliant late summer lunch. Of course, I took a few photos of the fritter making process so we’ll post about that tomorrow.

If you are in the Fethiye area, homemade süzme yoghurt can be bought from the Fethiye markets. It’s sold on the cheese stalls from huge, plastic tubs (basically, small dustbins) and is sold by weight.

The other place to get your hands on the home made stuff is from the cheese and olive shops surrounding the fish market in the centre of Fethiye.

Of course, you can get the factory produced branded yoghurt from the supermarkets but we prefer the locally produced version?

Turkish Food Abroad

If you aren’t in Turkey, just a question for you: Would you be able to buy a product called ‘Turkish Yoghurt’?

Whichever part of the world you are sitting in, while reading this post, have you ever seen yoghurt / coffee / any other products specifically marked with the label ‘Turkish Yoghurt,’ ‘Turkish coffee,’ ‘Turkish Bulgur’ etc?

We know the main supermarkets in the UK don’t sell any products like this (apart from the horrendous Fry’s Turkish Delight – but let’s not go there). It’s something we’ve thought a bit about recently and, coincidentally, the issue was discussed in an article about simits in the Hürriyet newspaper yesterday.

A Turkish company is going worldwide with its simit production. Great! However, Turkish cuisine is recognised as one of the best cuisines in the world. Why is the whole Turkish brand not exported more?

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Wednesday 9th of April 2014

I am so lucky where I live, I can get almost all of my Turkish favorites in Boston. The only thing I can't get is the all pistachio baklava that is like a finger and has very thin dough - like only 1 sheet. There are only a couple of Turkish owned markets, but Turkish brands are at many of the Egyptian, Moroccan, Russian, Serbian and Indian markets in the area. I can get yogurt, cheese, butter, everything Tamek, ayran, olives and cherry juice. In spring I can even get little green plums!!(they are the best!) There is an Afghan baker who had a Turkish wife who makes a lot of Turkish desserts. Yay Tulumba!!

Lynda Pressley

Sunday 12th of November 2023

@Sioux, I was just in Waltham and ate at a great Mom and Pop place called Boston Kababs…. It is Mediterranean and Turkish Restaurant…. They have lots of great deserts and several types of Baklava. The food was delicious… this was our first time eating Turkish cuisine. We live in SC and I doubt I will find anything labeled Turkish here… I really want to make Lavaş…. Finding Turkish Yogurt is going to be impossible…..


Turkey's For Life

Sunday 13th of April 2014

Thanks for your comment Sioux - and great to know there is so much Turkish produce available in your city. Sounds like you've got a good international mix there as well as Turkish. Fab! :)

Turkey's For Life

Monday 18th of February 2013

@ Linda: Thanks for this comment. Really interesting. They've started to sell low fat süzme yoghurt on the pazar now but we always go for the full fat one because we figure if we're eating it, it might as well be as near to the original as possible. :) Not sure we've ever seen the whey cheese - or maybe we have and just never noticed it.


Sunday 17th of February 2013

I lived in Yalikavak, near Bodrum for a few years. I always bought suzme from the pazars. I liked the creaminess too, but, as a nutritionist I know how important whey is to glutathione production and growth hormone, so one day I asked my vendor for the whole yogurt. She told me they fed the whey remaining after straining to their kids and made fat-free cheese from it. This whey cheese is pretty common there. Anyway I got the impression the whey is more like gold to them and they didn't want to let it go in the form of yogurt, especially if they had kids to feed.

Turkey's For Life

Saturday 16th of February 2013

@ Stephanie J: Yes, not surprising at all given the number of Turks in Germany. Glad there are such decent Turkish food sections in the supermarkets, though - and of course, that's a bonus for you, too. Great news that you found süzme yoghurt. Things are looking up, it seems. :)


Saturday 16th of February 2013

When we first moved to Frankfurt, I was pleased to find in our closest supermarket a Turkish section - red lentils, sarma in a can, bulgur, helva, nohut and boxes of manti. Not surprising, given the number of Turks living in Germany.

I've seen plenty of dairy products with Turkish labels but this week was the first week I've found suzme yogurt! I was so excited!


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