Food blog

Avgolemono: Exploring the Creamy and Tangy Delights of Greek Cuisine

What is Avgolemono and how does it taste?

Avgolemono is a versatile and delicious Greek dish that has gained popularity not only in Greece, but also in the United States. This creamy, tangy, and lemony creation is often enjoyed as a soup, but it can also be used as a sauce or flavoring in a variety of dishes. In this article, we will explore the origins of avgolemono, how it is made, its unique flavor, and different ways to cook with it.

The origins of avgolemono

Despite its association with Greek cuisine, avgolemono has roots in several other Mediterranean countries. The dish’s predecessor was a creamy sauce called agristada, originally made by Sephardic Jews. Agristada used boiled eggs instead of dairy products to achieve a creamy texture that met kosher dietary requirements.
Traditionally, agristada was eaten after fasting, especially to break the Yom Kippur fast in Turkey and the Balkans. Before lemons became popular in the Mediterranean, agristada was made with verjus, a liquid made from unripe grapes. As Iberian Jews migrated throughout the region, they brought this creamy and spicy soup with them, which eventually evolved into what is now known as avgolemono in Greek cuisine. Similar versions of avgolemono can also be found in Italy (known as bagna brusca) and Spain (known as salsa blanca).

How Avgolemono is made

The beauty of avgolemono is its simplicity. It is made primarily with three main ingredients: eggs, lemon juice, and stock. The key to achieving the creamy texture that avgolemono is known for lies in the proper combination of these ingredients.
To achieve the silky texture, the eggs must be tempered before they are added to the hot broth. This involves slowly bringing the eggs to the right temperature without curdling or scrambling them. The broth is removed from the heat and a small amount is gradually added to the egg and lemon mixture while vigorously whisking. This process ensures that the egg mixture reaches a uniform temperature. When enough broth has been added, the mixture of egg, lemon and broth is poured back into the pot while stirring. It’s important to note that the pot should be heated over medium heat, never brought to a boil.
When reheating leftover avgolemono, it’s best to do so slowly to preserve its delicate texture. Whether heating on the stovetop over medium heat or using a lower power setting in the microwave, the goal is to maintain the creamy consistency.

The taste of Avgolemono

Avgolemono’s unique flavor is what makes it so distinctive and delicious. With its silky texture and tangy flavor, Avgolemono adds a distinctive and exciting element to any dish. Although dairy-free, it remains creamy and smooth in the mouth.
The lemon juice provides a tart kick, but the level of acidity can be adjusted by using less lemon if desired. Even those who prefer a milder flavor can enjoy avgolemono. It serves as a flavorful base for soups and stews, or as a sauce to enhance the flavor of meat and vegetables.

Cooking with Avgolemono

Avgolemono is a versatile sauce that can be used in many ways in the kitchen. It can be used as a sauce to enhance the flavor of meat, fish and vegetables. In addition, avgolemono is the basis of a hearty soup, often made with chicken or meatballs flavored with herbs and cooked in vegetable or meat broth. It can also be used in stews made with rice or orzo.
When avgolemono became associated with Greek urban cuisine, it was often thickened with flour to make a spicy cream sauce. This sauce was used to dress braised meats and vegetables, adding a rich and flavorful touch to the dishes.

Where to find Avgolemono

If you’re craving this creamy and spicy dish, you’re in luck! Avgolemono is readily available in the United States. You can find it in Greek restaurants or Greek grocery stores. It is also commonly sold in the soup aisle of standard grocery stores as ready-made Greek chicken soup, which is the most popular variety of avgolemono.
For those who want to use avgolemono as a base for different types of soups or as a sauce, it may not be as readily available in regular grocery stores. However, the key ingredients needed to make avgolemono, such as eggs, lemon, and stock, are readily available and can be used to create your own homemade version.

The nutritional value of avgolemono

Avgolemono is an easy and nutritious dish. It contains a good amount of protein from the eggs and broth, making it a hearty option. The lemon juice adds the benefits of citrus fruits, including citric acid, fiber, and vitamin C. However, it’s important to note that specific nutritional values may vary depending on the recipe and specific ingredients used.

Bottom line

Avgolemono is a popular Greek dish known for its creamy texture, tangy flavor, and versatility in the kitchen. Whether enjoyed as a soup, a sauce, or a condiment, it adds a delightful twist to any meal. With its rich history and simple yet delicious ingredients, avgolemono continues to be a favorite among Greek cuisine enthusiasts and food lovers around the world. So the next time you’re in the mood for a creamy, lemony treat, try avgolemono and experience its unique flavor for yourself.


What is the origin of Avgolemono?

Avgolemono originated from a creamy sauce called agristada prepared by Sephardic Jews in the Mediterranean region. It later evolved into the popular Greek dish known as avgolemono.

What are the main ingredients of avgolemono?

The main ingredients in avgolemono are eggs, lemon juice and stock. These simple ingredients come together to create a creamy and tangy flavor.

Can I use Avgolemono as a sauce?

Yes, absolutely! Avgolemono can be used as a sauce to enhance the flavor of meat, fish and vegetables. Its creamy texture and tangy flavor add a delightful twist to any dish.

Is Avgolemono suitable for vegetarians?

Yes, Avgolemono can be made in vegetarian versions by using vegetable broth instead of meat broth. It still retains its creamy texture and tangy flavor, making it a delicious option for vegetarians.

Can I reheat leftover Avgolemono?

Yes, you can reheat leftover Avgolemono. It’s best to do so slowly over medium heat on the stovetop or on a low power setting in the microwave to preserve its delicate texture.

Where can I find Avgolemono?

Avgolemono can be found in Greek restaurants, Greek grocery stores, or in the soup aisle of standard grocery stores as ready-made Greek chicken soup, which is the most popular type of avgolemono. Alternatively, you can make your own homemade version using readily available ingredients such as eggs, lemon, and stock.

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