Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Word of the Week: Za'atar

We had Za'atar with home-baked pita bread during our third Living Room Talk.
Miss Za'atar is seen here accompanied by Mr Atlantic Kosher Sea Salt.

I tasted Za'atar three times this week and thought I should highlight this interesting wonderful spice. It is a mixture of wild thyme, oregano, basil with kosher sea salt, toasted sesame seeds and dried sumac. Some varieties may include cumin, savory, coriander or fennel seeds. The commercial ones add roasted flour. I'm all for the home-made one though!

According to Wikipedia, "there is a belief in the Middle East that this particular spice mixture makes the mind alert and the body strong. For this reason, children are encouraged to eat a za'atar sandwich for breakfast before an exam. Palestinians also remind their children in the morning before sending them off to school that eating za'atar for breakfast will make them smarter." Any Palestinian friend out there who can verify if this is accurate?

Za'atar shrub in Jerusalem

It's definitely Middle Eastern cuisine week for me this week. I made Labane at home and added some Za'atar to it too. I also did a Mediterranean Labane plus plus - check it out here! Thanks to some dear friends who gave me a Mediterranean cookbook for my last birthday!

I am checking out a chic Moorish bistro tomorrow and will blog about it, so look out if you're interested.

Labane plus plus -  tested and tasted by some friends last night during caregroup

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