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What is Za'atar?

Za'atar, also known as zahtar, is a Middle Eastern blend of spices. The typical ingredients are thyme, sesame seeds and sumac, but some blends may also include cumin, oregano or fennel seed.

If you've eaten at Middle Eastern restaurants, you'll probably recognize the flavor, which is pungent and grassy. Za'atar is used on meats and vegetables, and is also mixed with oil to make a spread for flatbread.

You can find this spice blend at a specialty food or Middle Eastern food store. Or, if you can find sumac (also available at Middle Eastern shops), you can make your own Za'atar using equal parts chopped fresh thyme, toasted sesame seeds and sumac. Sprinkle Za'atar over fresh pita bread drizzled with olive oil.

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