Wednesday, 7 September 2016
Before I write about eating yogurt, I have to decide how to spell it. Yogurt - yoghurt - yoghourt and even yojurt are all possibilities but as the word comes from the Turkish yoğurt, I'm sticking to the first-mentioned option. As a foreigner it is easy to make a big faux-pas in the eating and serving of yogurt, I bet many of you are committing this gaffe every day. YOU MUST NEVER SERVE YOGURT WITH A METAL SPOON. Many a time, as I started to dip into a virgin pot of yogurt with a large metal serving spoon, my arm has been caught mid swipe. Only wooden spoons should plunge into yoğurt as any hint of metal will split the curds and release liquid. Koreans also believe that metal kills the bacteria and spoils the taste. I've tried to find some scientific proof to back up this widely held (in Turkey) belief but haven't had any success. The journal Flavour conducted a small study that found that yogurt tasted better from a light plastic spoon than a heavy one which is neither here nor there regarding wooden spoons, so I have conducted my own experiment and I'm siding with Turkish housewives. Yogurt stays thicker for longer if you scrape servings uniformly from the top with wood rather than metal.
While we are on the subject, metal shouldn't be used for honey either and if you are lucky enough to have caviar to present - only a mother of pearl, gold, animal horn or a wooden spoon will do. (I'm hoping someone will read this and explain why as the caviar comes out of a metal tin).
If you now feel the need to increase your wooden spoon collection you can buy handmade in most markets or take a drive around Turkish villages and ask for the basket maker as they usually whittle spoons as a sideline.