Thyme is an essential flavoring in much Western and Middle-Eastern cooking. Unlike most herbs, it withstands long, slow cooking and it enhances other herbs without overpowering them. This makes thyme a must-have spice to have stocked in your pantry.
What thyme is it?
Thyme is one of those spices that has many species depending on which part of the world you look at. The most common species we are use to seeing and using is referred to as garden thyme. Whether you grow your own or buy store bought, this spice has a warm, earthy, and peppery fragrance. The taste is spicy with notes of cloves and mint which can leave a mouth-cleansing aftertaste.
Using your thyme wisely
Thyme can be used in fresh form, by picking individual leaves from the stem with a gentle pinching motion at the base of each leaf cluster, or in dried. The dried form can be found in both a whole leaf or ground form.
Thyme can be used in so many different dishes and it compliments other spices and herbs so well, such as allspice, basil, bay leaves, clove, garlic, lavender, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, parsley and rosemary. With the perfect spice combination, it really enhances foods like cabbage, carrots, corn, legumes, leeks, potatoes, mushrooms and tomatoes.