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What Is Za'atar?

Definition: Za'atar

Za'atar (pronounced "zah-tar") is a Middle Eastern spice mix of thyme, sumac, toasted sesame seed, and sometimes wild oregano. Arabic for the word "thyme," after the seasoning's predominant ingredient, za'atar has been used in Arabic countries since medieval times. Olive oil is often added to make a spreadable paste, which is then served with everything from flatbreads to eggs to vegetables.

Za'atar can also refer to an herb with notes of savory, thyme, and oregano; however, this herb is rarely exported.


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