Spanish thyme leaves, also known as wild thyme, is a versatile herb that is widely used in Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine. It is an evergreen shrub that grows in warm climates, particularly in the Mediterranean region, and is known for its small, gray-green leaves and delicate flavor. Spanish thyme herb leaves are the main spice used in “Zaatar” a Middle Eastern mixture of ground thyme, sumac and sesame seeds. The zaatar is mixed with olive oil and spread on top of a flatbread and baked until golden brown. It’s commonly referred to as a thyme pie or “Manaesh”.
In cooking, Spanish thyme leaves are often used to flavor a variety of dishes, including soups, stews, marinades, and roasted vegetables. It is also a common ingredient in spice blends and rubs, and is often used to season meats, such as chicken, lamb, and beef. The herb has a distinctive, slightly lemony flavor, which pairs well with a variety of other ingredients and can help to enhance the flavor of many dishes.
Aside from its culinary uses, Spanish thyme leaves have a range of potential health benefits. The herb is a rich source of antioxidants, which help to protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. It is also believed to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, which may help to boost the immune system and reduce the risk of certain diseases.
In traditional medicine, Spanish thyme leaves have been used to treat a variety of conditions, including respiratory problems, digestive issues, and skin conditions. The herb is also sometimes used as a natural remedy for anxiety and stress, as it is believed to have a calming effect on the body.