Za’atar — The Next Best Thing You Never Ate

by in News, January 14th, 2014

Za'atar - The Next Best Thing You Never Ateby Jacob Schiffman

When I lived in Israel my junior year abroad in college, I started noticing that a lot of my favorite foods had a nutty, floral flavor I hadn’t seen before. I found out it was a Middle Eastern spice blend made of woody herbs (usually thyme and oregano, but traditionally hyssop), sumac and sesame seeds. There I saw it mostly on hummus or on flatbreads, but now I love putting it on roasted vegetables or fish (with a bit of honey), grilled chicken or baked eggs at breakfast. There are regional varieties of za’atar (Jordanian has more sumac and Israeli sometimes includes dill); I like the Israeli style, probably because that’s the first one I tried. Whichever one you prefer, let me know what you like to eat it on.

Find it: Look for it in most good grocery stores and any specialty spice shop.

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Comments (3)

  1. vegiemama says:

    I love to sprinkle it on salads with an olive oil vinaigrette dressing, and I also love it sprinkled on mac n cheese. And I prefer the kind with more sumac. My mom makes a wonderful vegan flatbread pizza with za'atar.

  2. Kara S. says:

    Try it on cantaloupe, with a bit of prosciutto —divine!

  3. @rawspicebar says:

    I would highly recommend RawSpiceBar for small batch, freshly ground authentic spice blends- especially za-atar. They offer regional variations created by top chefs as well as a subscription box and spice of the month club which is great for incorporating new spices and dishes into meals. The site is

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