Origanum syriacum seed
Common name:Za’atar, Zaatar Bible Hyssop, Origanum syriacum,Syrian Oregano
Zaatar is a Middle Eastern perennial that is used as a sort of condiment, generally mixed with otherand spices, such as sesame seeds, black cumin, fennel, onions, and
salt, all blended in olive oil and used as a spread, like a nut butter. It has an oregano-like aroma and taste and makes a marvelous dipping sauce for bread. It likes full sun and
sandy, quick-draining soil. Its yield is abundant in the first year.
This is the new spice you MUST add to your garden this season! Widely used in the Middle East (especially Jordan, Lebanon, and Israel, where it is native) to flavor meats and breads, it is a
wonderfully heady, richly scented and ‘spicy’ seasoning that combines the flavors of Marjoram, Oregano, and Thyme. Easy to grow on deer-resistant plants in poor to average soil, it makes a
nice perimeter planting for thegarden.
A member of the Origanum family, Zaatar Marjoram is actually closer in flavor to a mild Thyme than to the Sweet Marjoram with which we are familiar in this country. It is commonly used to season grilled mutton, and is also added to breads. Highly aromatic, it is the key ingredient of a popular spice blend of the same name in Jordan; in Israel, a similar blend also relies on Zaatar. If you eat or want to try Middle Eastern cuisine, Zaatar Marjoram is a key ingredient!
Zaatar is easy to grow and quite ornamental. The plant reaches about 3 feet high and wide, topped with flowerspikes that are also used (along with the leaves) in seasoning. It blooms in late spring to early summer, and actually prefers poor to only moderately fertile soil, preferably alkaline (lime-based). It also does well in containers — jsut give it plenty of sunshine, very little if any fertilizer, and it’s on its way in no time!