TIL that Greek Yogurt is not a distinct part of Greek cuisine, but rather an adopted term that emerged in the UK in the 1980’s after strained yogurt was imported under the name “Total” by a Greek company. Since then, Greek yogurt has referred to strained yogurt in English speaking countries.

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strained_yogurt#Name

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  1. As someone who has breakfasted, lunched, and dinnered in Greece, it’s also the way almost every Greek grandmother plunks yogurt down in front of you.

    At least that was my experience.

    I never liked eating breakfast until I managed to tell the nana running the b&b I was at that I didn’t, and she started feeding me all the stuff she was eating (usually whatever leftovers from dinner would make a decent meal for the morning without refrigeration).

    This is also where I developed a deep, deep love for Greek coffee in the morning, especially after a hangover.

    If your mouth feels like wild animals used it for a bathroom the night before and your head is pounding, there is no better cure than a shot of Ouzo rapidly followed up by a triple Greek coffee that is nearly equal parts sugar and syrupy liquid coffee with pita bread, olive oil, leftover shrimp and lemon egg soup for breakfast, along with whatever fruit juice or water the eighty year old woman wearing head to toe black clothing in a 100F kitchen who was matching you shot for shot last night is drinking while she gets the lunch orders ready and harasses her daughters into getting the rooms cleaned up for the guests.

    I don’t speak Greek. She didn’t speak English, German, French, Spanish, or my extremely rudimentary Japanese. She did speak my breakfast language, though.

    I am merely grateful that when I chose my taxi driver on that particular vacation that I had picked someone whose grandmother had married daughters, but no granddaughters, because otherwise I don’t think I would have been ALLOWED to leave Greece.

    That was 20 years ago and I swear to this day she’s probably still alive, still doing shots of Ouzo and playing chess with unsuspecting young men, and getting her grandsons to bring her the tourists who had neither foresight to make a reservation nor the wits at the end of a 20 hour series of flights to say “no” when presented with a woman the shape and apparent mobility of a dumpy Emperor penguin (at least when you were looking right at her; the second you took your eyes off her she was already on the other side of the room smashing garlic with the blade of her hand or screaming down a Bakelite telephone from the 1950s at one of her sons to bring the lamb for dinner on his next taxi ride by or haranguing one of her daughters for not cleaning the underside of the table well enough from the night before or snagging random tourist women and making suggestions that her male guest and grandsons should enjoy the company of single women such as themselves in Greek before yelling what I can only assume was “Walk on then, you French prostitutes, they don’t need your sex diseases” after them).

    There are few stereotypes I will happily admit to forming and adhering to in my life, and the Greek grandmother is front and center in all of them.

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