The cult of Ellenos is real. If you’re researching all the popular places in Pike Place Market you’re bound to read about Ellenos Real Greek Yogurt on almost everyone’s must try list over and over again. Talk to a local and they will tell you that you can’t leave the market (or Seattle) without trying it either. Why? Because it is the most perfectly indulgent Greek yoghurt and after one bite you’ll be just as obsessed as I am.
While I don’t claim to be a Greek yoghurt connoisseur, I do know a little bit about it after my good friend Ioanna inoculated me into the Greek way of life where a dollop of it goes with almost every bite. When we were living in Florence, a meal was never complete without our favourite Fage Total Greek yoghurt and we would buy tubs of them to ensure we always had one each to have with every meal. If I could get my hands on some in Vancouver I’d be eating it every day, but none of the Greek yoghurt brands they sell here even come close to that rich, tart flavour I love. So anytime I cross the border (or if someone I know is driving down) I buy a large tub of Fage Total (full fat, please) to take back.
That’s been going on for years until my recent trip to Seattle when I tried Ellenos for the first time. I ordered a marionberry flavour to eat on the spot and it was delicious. It’s one of their most popular flavours, along with the lemon curd. All it took was one bite and I knew I wasn’t going to be buying Fage Total again. Ellenos is rich and smooth like flan, and delicately tangy, exactly what I loved about Fage Total and more. It doesn’t really matter what flavour you choose because it’s all about that thick, creamy Greek yoghurt base swirled right through. The rest is just what happens to suit your mood and fancy.
I got a family size tub of the plain Greek yoghurt to take home (it lasts 4-6 hours outside the refrigerator and 2 weeks in the fridge) and I can’t wait to enjoy a dollop with everything. Who am I kidding, I’ve already eaten a third of the tub (made a yoghurt breakfast and had it on the side with a juicy grilled pork chop dinner). I should have bought more than just one because this tub clearly isn’t going to make it to next week. How do I find myself a yoghurt mule??
What I love the most is that despite its popularity, Ellenos’ tiny stall is a humble and indiscrete one (albeit perfectly located by the entrance to the market in front of Seattle’s most iconic neon sign) which makes me feel like I’m stopping by someone’s kitchen for yogurt being churned out fresh by a Greek grandmother in the back. I’ve had many delicious seafood meals in public markets all over the world, but never have I ever enjoyed such delicious, homemade Greek yogurt. I may not be an expert, but I sure know what to look for in my perfect condiment to go with just about any savoury (or sweet) dish. This is it.
If you’re looking for a good dinner place in the market, you must check out Matt’s in the Market in the building diagonally across (to the right). It was a random restaurant that we decided to try for dinner and it turned out to be one of our best meals in Seattle. Read about our delicious meal here.