Zaatar Zataar - The powerful taste and history
Zaatar is the word used to describe both a plant and a combination of multiple spices. It’s often also called Syrian Oregano or Wild Thyme and the plant itself acts as the foundation for the Za’atar Spice Blend – a blend enjoyed by many.
The Za’atar Spice Blend has been a Middle East staple for centuries, where a spice mix recipe is passed down the generations of a family. Though the blend may differ from family to family and region to region, the ingredients are typically the same. Dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, sumac, toasted sesame seeds, and salt are strategically placed together to create a rich, powerful mix.
The history of za’atar
For thousands of years, za’atar has played a major part in the Middle East. Not only has it been used as a food, but also medicine and perfume. The old testament refers to a plant called ‘ezov’, which biblical scholars think is za’atar. The plant is said to have been used in rituals and cleansing ceremonies, with some saying it acts as a cure for leprosy. Pharaohs in ancient Egypt used the herb, with the remanence of the plant being found in the tomb of King Tutankhamun. Also, Parthian kings turned it into a perfume, and Hippocrates used it to treat bronchitis.
Feed the brain
In the Middle East, a Za’atar Spice Blend is not only used to create delicious meals but is also said to improve brainpower. Some say those who are fed za’atar before an exam, perform much better than those who are not. Modern science is starting to support these claims, with study after study demonstrating the health effects on human neurotransmitters.
Indulge in this miraculous spice mix and plant by rubbing it on your meat, sprinkling it over vegetables, or adding to a salad. Its rich, wholesome flavour is destined to improve any dish and satisfy the taste buds.