Za'atar is truly something of a Middle Eastern delicacy. This delectable mix of savory dried herbs adds the most mouthwatering touch of flavor to almost any and every meal your heart desires to add it to! This pantry essential in the homes of many not only takes them back to their childhood but initiates and everlasting sense of comfort as well. Let’s delve deeper into all the beauty and comfort this yummy concoction of herbs has to offer!
Where did Za'atar originate?
Let it be known that Za'atar depicts more than the middle eastern version of yummy herbs that you can garnish your food with. It is important to note the word “Za'atar” essentially came about as a word that is used to describe a mix of any dried plants or herbs, regardless of what it is used for. The first introduction of Za'atar was created by one of the forefathers of modern medicine, Maimonides. In turn, Hippocrates used za'atar to treat everything from common colds to bronchitis as early as the 5th century BC. Many years later, renowned 12th century physician Maimonides, had similar success with his use of za'atar based treatments. Living in Spain, Morocco and Egypt, he prescribed za'atar for its health advancing properties. Speaking of healing mixtures, be sure to check out our Healing Tea Series!
Zaatar, whether as a garnish or a healing concoction, has now been a huge part of the Middle Eastern culture for years and is used in so many ways! From the foods we eat, the perfumes we wear, to our mama’s good old home prescription remedies!
What are the components in edible Za'atar?
The mix within Za'atar typically varies depending on which region of the Middle East you are getting it from. Here are the herbs you’ll need if you ever felt like making a homemade batch of your own!
Palestinian Za'atar Blend
- Sesame seeds
- Ground cumin
- Ground all spice
Common Za'atar Blend Across the Middle East
- Dried oregano
- Marjoram (woodsy/florals)
- Sumac – for that tangy and acidic kick we all know well and love
- And toasted sesame seeds for the rich nutty flavor to tie in all the flavors together.
How can I put the greatness of Za'atar to use?
Whether you want to use Za'atar as a slight seasoning or want to use this flavor to wow your guests with the entirety of the meal, there are many ways you can incorporate za'atar into any dish! Here are a few dishes that will have your friends and family eagerly waiting for your next get together!
Fatoosh is a dinner time staple in most Middle Eastern homes. Top off this mouthwatering salad with za'atar when ready to serve to give it the most perfect kick of flavor!
Woke up feeling hungry? Let za'atar start your day with a flavorful breakfast as you grab your favorite bread, or even croissant, add some olive oil and za'atar on top for the best Pali style toast ever. While you let that toast up in the oven grab your cucumbers, tomatoes, labneh, and make your tea then BAM- a happy and wholesome Middle Eastern meal to start off a fabulous day!
Chicken and Zaatar
If you ever find yourself tired of adding your usual seasoning on your chicken for dinner, spice it up and season your chicken with an olive oil and za'atar mix. The olive oil will help adhere the za'atar to the chicken, add some rice on the side, and in turn you’ll have an ambrosial chicken dinner!
To some Za'atar may just be a seasoning, but for many, Za'atar is an addictive burst of flavor to always enjoy. Za'atar has become a staple symbol for the Palestinian culture as it is served as often as every meal with olive oil and pita bread for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you love Za'atar as much as we do, go right on a head and check out our “Za'atar - the Official Heartthrob of Palestine” blog for more details on the greatness of Za'atar!
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