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Mar 17, 2010 10:15 AM

Are you JORDANIAN? Are you a GARDENER? Can you tell me what's in my ZA'ATAR?

I've eaten lots of different za'atar blends.
I've made my own.
I know everyone's grandmother does it differently.
I know it's highly regional.
I know the word za'atar can mean any of about six different herbs of the thyme/oregano family.

What I REALLY want to know is which herb is in the version a friend's daughter brought back from Jordan (leftover dorm food stash), so I can hunt down the seeds and plant it in my garden.

This particular mixture is low on the citrus-y/sumac side, is markedly more silvery/grey in color, has a very appealing...mustiness? aura? I love it and only have about two tablespoonsful left.

Know what this is? Know of anyone in Boston (maybe in the Mt Auburn market area?) who might be able to point me in the right direction? I'd kill for an actual Latin name.

(I'll send you 1 week old maple syrup...)

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  1. It sounds like zaatar aka white marjoram--origanum syriaca. I have grown it in my garden for several years. Johnny's and Park Seed have been my seed sources. The picture in Park's listing is closer to the whiteness in my garden.
    The seeds start off slowly but otherwise is easy to grow in Chicago and would probably work equally well in Boston.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Eldon Kreider

      Jordanian Zaatar is characterised by its aromatic mix of wild thyme, roasted sesame seed and the ground sour berries of the sumac tree.
      Ingredients Include:
      • Thyme
      • Sumac
      • Seasame Seeds
      • Sea Salt
      • Cumin
      i buy it in Mississauga