It's green, fragrant, and the trendiest flavor in the food world right now. But what is za'atar spice made of exactly? Here's what you need to know about the ingredients in this savory Middle Eastern spice blend.
Za'atar indeed does it all. It's herby, bright, tangy, savory, and crunchy. It's an all-purpose seasoning and spice that works with any dish. But how do we pack all of that flavor, convenience, and nuance into a single product?
First, we start with the highest-quality ingredients. Our popcorn, za'atar spice blend, and olive oil-based condiments are sourced carefully. Alexander, our CEO, visits the fair trade za'atar farms in the region. That's the only way to ensure that every bite is as fresh and robust as we want it to be.
Za'atar is part of the Mediterranean Diet because it's low in sodium and uses regional spices to add flavor. But what exactly are the ingredients? Here's what our za'atar spice is made of.
What is Za'atar Spice Blend Made Of
The list of ingredients in our za'atar isn't long, but each one is vital to making the most flavorful spice blend possible.
Za'atar or Mediterranean Wild Thyme
Yes, there's za'atar in our za'atar. And we're not trying to be cute. Za'atar is both an ingredient and a popular all-purpose seasoning used across the Mediterranean and the Middle East. It's a cultural food staple, just like hummus or yogurt, a spice blend that millions of people in the Levant (the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean) enjoy daily.
The word "za'atar" in Arabic refers to a type of perennial thyme with square leaves and grows to 3 feet tall. It's part of the Lamiaceae family of herbs, which grows in this Levant region.
The taste is delicate and verdant, like the fresh thyme you may know, but a bit more savory.
There are other names for za'atar, such as hyssop (a term used in the Bible), Origanum Syriacum, Majorana Syriaca, or Lebanese oregano. There are even folk stories of za'atar making you more intelligent due to the essential oils found in thyme. So parents would feed their kids yogurt with za'atar for breakfast on exam days!
It's also been reported the ancient philosopher Maimonides used to prescribe the za'atar wild thyme for respiratory ailments.
We like to pair our za'atar with dried oregano, another ubiquitous Mediterranean herb. Oregano has a slightly sweet, earthy flavor. It's even a bit bitter, though drying the herb tempers some of its bitter taste.
You'll also find toasted whole white sesame seeds in our za'atar blend for a hint of nuttiness, crunch, and a creamy and rich flavor. Sesame seeds are popular in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines and a vital component of any premium za'atar.
In addition to flavor, the sesame seeds add crunch to the mix, so anything you sprinkle with dried za'atar will have an excellent visual appeal and texture.
Sumac is another classic Middle Eastern and Mediterranean ingredient. It's a spice made by drying the leaves of the bright red sumac plant. We like to call it the “cranberry of the Mediterranean" for its deep red color and citrusy flavor.
Drying concentrates the herb's flavor, and the result is a bold, zesty and lemony spice that pops. Sumac is our secret weapon for adding brightness and the taste of acidity to dishes without any liquid like lemon or lime.
Try the Middle Eastern Spice Today
Visit Zesty Z to buy za'atar, and find the perfect seasoning for any meal. How about starting your day with za'atar avocado toast or this New York-style breakfast sandwich. It's got fried eggs, a toasted bagel, smoky bacon, melted cheese, and a healthy drizzle of za'atar condiment.