Thyme is a popular herb that has been used for centuries as medicine and food.
It goes by many different names, such as “Old Woman,” “Mother of Thyme,” and “Wild Marjoram.
” This herb is what gives dishes like stuffing their characteristic flavor.
The taste can be described as sweet and savory, with hints of peppermint, lemon, oregano, or cinnamon.
This article will explore what thyme tastes like, what cooking with thyme means, why you should use it often in your cooking, its nutritional benefits to both your body and mind – plus what foods to pair it with.
What is Thyme?
Thyme is a perennial, herbaceous plant in the Mint family.
It grows best in rocky or sandy soils and dry climates with hot summers.
The thyme’s leaves are made up of tiny stalked oval-shaped glands that give the leaf its flavor when they’re crushed between your teeth.
The color can range from light green to gray-green, and the plant is usually just a few feet tall.
The leaves are arranged in opposite pairs along the stem, with each leaf having an extra vein that runs from the base of the blade to its tip.
Thyme’s flowers are small paired bracts on short stalks, with the bracts close together just below a whorl of leaves.
Thyme is a very versatile herb; it has been used for centuries as both a seasoning and medicine across many cultures worldwide.
In Western cooking, thyme often flavors stuffings (especially poultry), soups, and stews.
Besides using it as a seasoning, thyme can also be used to make herbal teas or tinctures for medicinal purposes.
Thyme is native to the Mediterranean region but has been naturalized in many other locales worldwide; it now grows wild on all continents except Antarctica.
Nutritional & Health Benefits of Thyme
The thyme plant has a long history of culinary and medicinal use.
The name is derived from the Greek word for “to fumigate,” reflecting its fragrant scent when dried.
The benefits of thyme can be attributed to this herb’s ability to increase certain hormones such as serotonin (which helps regulate mood), dopamine (which helps control nerve cells), and endorphins (which help regulate pain) as well as its antibacterial, anti-fungal or antiviral properties.
Thyme also contains the antioxidant properties of carvacrol and thymol that have been found to prevent free radicals from triggering a chain reaction, which can cause cancer.
Thyme is also used in many cultures as an expectorant to be useful for respiratory problems such as asthma or bronchitis.
The herb also contains a compound that acts as a blood thinner, which could be helpful for those suffering from high cholesterol or heart disease.
Thyme is rich in potassium, and it’s also an excellent source of fiber, calcium, iron, and manganese.
It contains vitamin A too.
Many people take thyme to reduce their risk of cancer due to its antioxidant properties.
Thyme also helps to regulate the digestive system and is often used for upset stomachs.
It’s an excellent source of vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as iron.
So, what are you waiting for? Go outside and get your thyme on.
What Does Thyme Taste Like? Does Thyme Taste Good?
Thyme is a herb that can be used in cooking and other culinary arts.
It has an aromatic, lemony flavor to it with hints of pine and mints.
Many people, however, are unsure of what thyme tastes like.
Thyme is used in many cuisines worldwide to make dishes such as this Moroccan-style lamb tagine with preserved lemons and fresh parsley or Swedish meatballs.
As a seasoning for meats or added to salad dressing, it adds depth and flavor to the dish.
The taste of thyme and dried thyme are very much different from each other.
This is because when fresh, it has a more powerful lemony scent as well as a stronger flavor than when it’s been stored for an extended period.
A good way to distinguish this would be by tasting both fresh and dried thyme.
If you’re used to the taste of fresh thyme, then it might take some time for your mouth to adjust when tasting its dry counterpart.
It’s hard to tell because they both have a slightly different flavor than each other, but if you compare them side by side in small quantities, you’ll notice slight differences in the taste.
When adding fresh thyme to a dish, you’ll want to use about three times as much dried thyme because it has a stronger flavor and scent than its fresh counterpart.
The smell of dried thyme is very different from fresh because it has a stronger scent and an earthy, woodsy aroma.
It’s perfect to flavor dishes such as this one, including onions, garlic cloves, and vegetables.
Does Thyme Taste Like Oregano?
Not same family but similar in taste.
Thyme is a member of the mint family, whereas oregano belongs to Lamiaceae (pronounced lah-MEE-uh-see), which includes basil and marjoram.
The differences between thyme and oregano are that thyme has more delicate flavors with hints of lemon and lavender, whereas oregano has more intense flavors.
One of the easiest ways to tell thyme from oregano is that thyme will have curly leaves (sometimes called “creeping” or “twisted”), while oregano’s leaves are either straight or wavy.
Thyme also grows in a very compact mound, whereas oregano grows in a more spreading fashion.
In cooking, thyme is often used for poultry dishes and pasta or mixed into sauces such as pesto; it’s also great on baked potatoes.
Oregano has stronger flavors, so it’s typically used with tomatoes and other vegetables that are cooked briefly.
It can also be used for pizza, pork dishes, and eggplant.
Both herbs are often found in Italian recipes.
How to Cook with Thyme?
Thyme is a wonderfully fragrant herb that tastes great in many dishes.
It can be used to add flavor to soups, stews, and tomato sauces.
Thyme leaves are also wonderful when stirred into eggs or sprinkled on bread before baking them for crispy toppings.
So the next time you need a flavor boost for your dishes, reach for thyme.
- Add fresh thyme leaves to your dishes when they are simmering, and the flavor will infuse slowly into the food.
- Add fresh thyme in small amounts because it is a very strong herb that can overpower other seasonings if added too much. To preserve its delicate flavors, add thyme near the end of cooking time for best results.
- Use the fresh herb in marinades, rubs, and dressings.
- In some cultures, thyme leaves are often added to meats before roasting or grilling them to enhance the flavor of these dishes with their intense but not overpowering aromas.
- Baste meats with a thyme-infused mixture, or create an herb butter to finish the dish.
- Sprinkle fresh thyme leaves on top of vegetables for easy cooking and add the sauce for flavor enrichment.
How to Choose Fresh Thyme?
Fresh thyme is a herb that you can use for so many things.
It tastes great, it smells amazing, and the health benefits are astounding.
But how do you know when to choose fresh thyme?
You should choose fresh thyme when it is in season, which means the quality will be better and the price will be lower.
Another way to make sure you have fresh thyme is by checking the color of the leaves.
Light green means it has been picked recently but too dark, and that probably means someone dried them or was harvested a while ago.
Then, if you want to be sure it tastes good when choosing fresh thyme, always smell the leaves.
If they have a strong aroma, then that is a sign of quality and flavor.
When purchasing thyme, remember these tips so you can choose the best quality herbs for your dish.
How to Store Thyme?
To store thyme, they should be dried and then placed in a jar or container.
Thyme stored this way will keep for about six months if it is unopened.
To use the thyme that has been preserved with drying, first remove any larger pieces of stem.
Then chop up the herb as needed before adding it to the dish.
Thyme can also be frozen in an ice cube tray and then placed into a freezer bag or container for up to one year.
In conclusion, thyme is a type of herb that can be used in a variety of recipes.
It has been shown to have many health benefits and is generally safe for consumption, with some minor exceptions.
It is essential to double-check any allergies or sensitivities before eating anything with thyme in it.
As always, if you have any feedback about this blog post, please feel free to share your thoughts below.