Thyme

Thyme Thyme has a rich history as a flavoring agent in foods. It was first used by the Egyptians to embalm the pharaohs and later the Greeks used it in spas and temples because of its specific aroma. Later the use of thyme spread all over Europe and was used as a flavoring agent in certain liqueurs and foods. It was also used to ward off “evil” spirits and played a major role as incense in funeral ceremonies. Thyme grows in hot climates where the soil has ample water. This perennial plant is usually planted in spring and can withstand both extremes of cold and heat quite well. Thyme is presently used in many cultures to flavor food. It is available fresh and as a dry powder. The fresh thyme is more aromatic and has an exquisite taste. While thyme can be stored, it does lose some of its freshness and aroma. The fresh thyme can be used in foods, or the powder may be dissolved in beverages like tea to enhance the taste. When using fresh thyme, it is important to know that it is the leaves which contain the aroma and not the stem. There are many varieties of thyme available depending on where it was grown. The two chief types of thyme used in cooking are the lemon thyme and the common thyme. Both have a sweet and mildly pungent flavor. The lemon thyme is usually more acidic and salty. Thyme usually goes very well with meats like lamb and chicken and in soups and sauces. Thyme is rarely used alone in cooking and often combined with oregano, parsley, rosemary and even garlic. The thyme is usually added during the end of a middle phase of cooking. Tiny amounts of thyme are usually used as the aroma is rich. Fresh thyme that is not used can be refrigerated in a zipper bag where it will keep for months. The dried thyme can keep for months in an airtight container. In some Mediterranean countries, oil is extracted from the thyme plant and used for medicinal purposes. Thyme is relatively cheap and can be bought in almost any grocery store in North America. It is always best to buy a little amount as one only requires tiny amounts of flavor food.

Health Benefits of Thyme:

    Nutrition Facts %DV
    Thyme has a rich history as a flavoring agent in foods. It was first used by the Egyptians to embalm

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