|This fragrant perennial is native to the Mediterranean region, North Africa, and Asia and prefers well-drained soil and full sun. Due to its popularity, it is now successfully cultivated in most temperate climates around the world, including much of Europe and South America. Also called common thyme, or garden thyme, it is from the species Thymus vulgarisandis; one of over 350 species in the Lamiaceae (mint) family. It grows to about 12”, has a woody root and the stems are a hard, reddish-brown. The stems are spotted with small, exquisite leaves and tiny pink flowers.
The thyme leaf is green when fresh, and when dried turns a greyish green color on top, while the bottom is whitish in color.
History and Cultivation
The first noted appearance of thyme can be dated to the time of the Ancient Egyptians. The Egyptians used thyme for culinary uses, as well as its aromatic and medicinal attributes. Not used medicinally in the same way we would think of it today, thyme was used as an embalming agent when preserving their deceased pharaohs.
Thyme was used in Greece for its aromatic qualities and was burned as incense at temples. The smell and sight of Thyme also served as a symbol of courage and admiration. Since the 16th century, thyme oil has been used as an antiseptic both in mouthwash and as a topical application.
Our Dried Thyme is grown in Morocco.
When and Where to Use
in many European cuisines, thyme features a strong, fresh, lemony
flavor. The French like to use it liberally in soups, stews, sauces,
vinegars, and the blends Bouquet Garnis and Herbs de Provence. They also
use it to pair with fish, poultry and meat dishes. In Jordan, it's used
in a condiment called Za'atar. Used in Creole cooking, it adds flavor
to blackened meat and fish dishes, and in Caribbean cuisine it's used to
make Jamaican Jerk Seasoning.
Add thyme to beef, egg and cheese dishes (like quiche, frittatas, and omelets), cabbage, carrots, chicken, figs, fish, goat cheese, lamb, leeks, legumes, lentils, onions, peas, pork, potatoes, soups, tomatoes and venison.
Thyme works well with allspice, bay leaf, basil, chili powder, garlic, marjoram, nutmeg, oregano, paprika and parsley.
Thyme is a fairly robust seasoning, so we recommend starting
off with just a pinch or two so you don't overpower your dish as you
can always add more if needed to achieve the ideal flavor. Common thyme
or garden thyme has gray-green leaves and a sharp minty aroma with hints
of lemon. Another popular subvariety is lemon thyme, which has a more
pronounced lemon aroma.
Substitutes for dried thyme are basil, marjoram, oregano or savory.
If your recipe calls for thyme sprigs you can figure 6 fresh thyme sprigs = 3/4 teaspoon ground dried thyme and you can use the ratio of 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme equals about 3/4 teaspoon of dried thyme.
We also carry a Ground Thyme.
Some of the favorite recipes using Thyme include Provencal Chicken, Greek Chicken Casserole, Basil Frittata and Hill Country Spiced Pecans.
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