We hope you have enough thyme to talk about this popular, ubiquitous herb! The word thyme comes from the Greek word thumus, which means courage. While they often used it as a purifying incense to cleanse homes and temples, the Egyptians used it for embalming. The warm powerful aroma provides an uplifting quality.
In the Middle Ages thyme was introduced to Europe from Greece and it was often given to knights by maidens to inspire courage. It was also placed under pillows to aid sleep and ward off nightmares. In the 16th century as a medicinal plant used to “helpeth the bitings of any venomous beast”.
Today we often medicinally use thyme for sore throats and sometimes for a natural antiseptic. Try thyme and honey in your tea to soothe a sore throat. It is also commonly added to over the counter liniments and chest rubs used to treat the common cold.
It is common in many cooking applications and pairs well with many different types of food. Add a little to an apple or pear dessert for a nice herbaceous flavor or strip some leaves off and add it into a Mediterranean salad. Make sure to put a few stems in your bouquet garni, French Onion Soup or hearty stews. In the summer, use the flowers in a salad or dessert for a fresh and slightly sweeter thyme flavor.
Thyme is a perennial evergreen, with small leaves, sometimes wood stems and small white, purple or pink flowers. It has many varieties like citrus thyme in orange, lime or lemon. You may also see other varieties like caraway thyme, woolly thyme, creeping thyme, English thyme or French thyme. The best way to choose the best thyme for your garden is to look at the growing recommendations and pinching a bit and giving it a taste. If cooking is your ultimate goal, go for flavor! If ground cover is what you are after go for creeping or woolly thyme. If you would like to make sure your thyme survives the winter, plant it in a pot and bring it in to over winter. That way you will have thyme year-round!
Start finding the THYME to add this herb to your favorite dishes at home! Here are some of our favorites to get you started - just click on the recipe title to start your cooking adventure: