Thyme leaves - Thymus vulgaris: Its origins and a little trip into history
Wild thyme leaves have their roots in antiquity. The name thyme comes from the Greek word thymos and means courage/strength. In ancient Egypt, they used the plant for embalming the dead. The ancient Greeks burned the herb in their temples, much like incense. In the Middle Ages, they believed that the herbaceous plant gave courage and strength. In fighting games, the knights wore Roman Quendel as bouquets in the buttonhole.
The culinary herb comes from the western Mediterranean. Greek mythology says that thyme is the tears of beautiful Helena.
What does the thyme plant look alike?
The herbaceous plant belongs to the plant family of the labiate family (Lamiaceae) and is a 30 cm high shrub with egg-shaped leaves. When it blooms, it has pink to purple flowers. It grows on the calcareous, hot and rocky hills of Crete. Its scent enchants the entire coast.
How does thyme taste?
Thyme has a very aromatic fragrance, which you can describe as earthy and peppery. Its taste is spicy, somewhat spicy and bitter with hints of camphor and clove.
Culinary use of Thymus vulgaris
Thymus vulgaris is a widely used and popular spice in many European kitchens. It is used in many ways in the kitchen, for example, in the preparation of herb butter, salads, soups, egg dishes, tomatoes, and marinades. The spice is ideally suited for flavoring a carrot puree. It refines eggplants, mushrooms, liver, meat with dark sauce combined with red wine. I recently ate it with roasted duck breast, which was also very delicate.
The French Cuisine uses Summer Thymus vulgaris for every stew. It doesn't work without it.
The herb is also present in spice blends such as African Rub
, Creole Spice Blend
, Mexican Rub Churrasco
Which herbs and spices can I combine with garden thyme leaves?
Thyme leaves are a great partner for other herbs when used sparingly. He then highlights the aromas of the other herbs. It goes well with basil, oregano, savory, marjoram, laurel, cloves, nutmeg, paprika, rosemary, allspice, lavender, salt, pepper, chili, garlic.
The herbaceous plant is an intense spice, and I recommend to use it, therefore sparingly. Please keep in mind that this herb develops its flavor during the cooking process. The dried wild garden plant is more intense than the fresh one.
Garden thyme relieves indigestion and stomach cramps.
Storage of herbs and spices
Please keep your herbs and spices in airtight containers, which you can store in a dark, dry, and cool place.
How does fresh garden thyme look?