Thyme is the dried leaves of Thymus vulgaris, a small perennial of the mint family. The leaves measure about one quarter of an inch in length and one tenth of an inch in width. The plant grows about eighteen inches tall and produces small flowers that are very attractive to honey bees.
Thyme is used in stuffings, stews and for seasoning meats, fish and game. Thyme is part of bouquet garni, herbes de Provence, and the Middle East spice blend Zahtar, along with jerk and curry blends.
Most thyme is imported from Spain. Although French thyme is recognized as being of higher quality than the Spanish variety, only limited quantities are grown each year.
Thyme dates back to ancient Greece, where it symbolized courage. Roman soldiers bathed in water infused with thyme to gain vigor, courage and strength. In the Middle Ages, ladies embroidered a sprig of thyme on the scarves of knights for bravery.
Flavor & Aroma
Warming and pungent
Thyme is characterized by minty-green, hay-like, and musty flavor notes.