Thyme Blossoms- براعم الزعتر البري

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About

Very small white edible flowers that blossom from the thyme plant. Thyme is a very popular herb used in a wide variety of savory dishes in both fresh and dried forms. Sprinkle thyme blossoms on a salad, fish, chicken or on soups as a lovely, fragrant and delicious garnish.

Information

Other names: Thyme
Translations: Timiāns Ziedi, Čiobreliai Blossoms, Cimbru Blossoms, Timijan cvjetovi, Kwiaty tymianku, Tijm Blossoms, अजवायन के फूल फूल, Tomilho Blossoms, Тим Цветет, Θυμάρι Blossoms, الزعتر الزهور, 타임 벚꽃, Tymián Blossoms, Tim Blossoms, 百里香开花, Farigola Flors, Timijan cvetovi, Tymián Blossoms, Timo Blossoms, קורנית הניצנים, Timjan Blossoms, Тимијан цветови, タイムの花, Thym Blossoms, Thymian Blossoms, Timian Blossoms, Timian Blossoms, Tomillo Flores, Тім Цвіте, Timjami Blossoms, Мащерка Blossoms

Physical Description

small purple and white flowers

Colors: white, pink, purple

Tasting Notes

Flavors: herbal, sweet
Mouthfeel: Bitter, Earthy, Floral, Aromatic
Food complements: Salads, Vegetables, Meats, Fish
Wine complements: White wines, Red wines
Beverage complements: Beer, Lemonade, Tea, Sparkling water
Substitutes: Rosemary, Dried thyme, Lemon thyme, Wooley thyme

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: january, february, march, april, may, june, july, august, september, opctober, november, december
Choosing: Select fresh or dried thyme. Fresh thyme has a stronger flavor but the dried kind is easier to get. Look in your local supermarket or health store to see what is available.

Buying: You can buy Thyme at your local grocery store or supermarkets. Also, you can get Thyme from your local spice house.
Procuring: Thyme comes in a multitude of flavors, fragrances, growth habits and hardiness ranges. But all varieties are tough, easy-to-grow perennials with pungent leaves and dense clusters of pink, white or lilac flowers.

Buy plants at an herb nursery for planting in spring. Seeds germinate slowly and erratically, and most thyme varieties don't reproduce consistently from seed.

Choose a site with full sun and well-drained, preferably dry soil with any pH from 6.0 to 8.0. Work plenty of organic matter into the soil to ensure good drainage.

Set plants 6 to 12 inches apart, depending on the variety (check the plant label or a comprehensive herb book).

Cut plants back after they flower in summer to promote bushiness.

Protect plants with a winter mulch if the variety is not reliably hardy in your area (ask at the nursery when you buy your plants or consult an herb book).

Divide plants every three or four years to keep them dense and healthy (see "How to Divide Perennials").

Clip foliage and flowers anytime you need them. The more you cut, or even shear back, the more the plants will grow.

Preparation and Use

Strip leaves from the sprigs of fresh thyme to be used in dishes. Some soups and other culinary creations can include a whole sprig of thyme, but usually, you'll want just the leaves, and for many recipes they should be minced if fresh to keep the distribution of flavor more even

Measure out the amount of thyme you will use. For dried or minced thyme, you can use a teaspoon.

Add thyme to your dish toward the end of the cooking process. Thyme loses its flavor relatively quickly when cooked.

Cleaning: clean thyme with water and damp it on dry cloth.

Conserving and Storing

Use your scissors or knife and start cutting the larger branches. It is better to harvest from the mature thyme. Shake each branch to remove all the insects or dirt. Check each stem and take out the old leaves or the ones with spots.

Wash each stem using cold water and pat each dry using a paper towel while removing each trace of water. Making sure each stem is dry is important because it will grow molds if it’s not fully dry and will ruin all the leaves.

Hold the bunch upside down and take out the leaves on the upper part of the stems. Tie each stem tightly together. You can also tie them in smaller groups for higher moisture absorption.

Put each group in a dry paper bag and hang them upside down. Gather each bag on it’s base and tie them up again. You can tie a lace around each of them. Add holes by cutting the bag for air. Be sure that the leaves will not touch the bag’s sides. Put the name of the herb and write the date when you hang it up.

Get the bags and strip the leaves that are dry from each stem. Crush them so it will become smaller and you can put them in your jar.

Store the dried herbs in clean containers and in a place that is far from direct light. If you will put them in ziploc bags be sure to seal it tight. A good tip is to put a straw and suck the extra air from it. Remove it by pressing it while closing it little by little until the last end and press it while finally taking the straw out.
Label it with the date so you know how long you can use the herb.

Social/Political

The essential oil of common thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is made up of 20-54% thymol. Thymol, an antiseptic, is the main active ingredient in Listerine mouthwash. Before the advent of modern antibiotics, it was used to medicate bandages. It has also been shown to be effective against the fungus that commonly infects toenails.

A tea made by infusing the herb in water can be used for cough and bronchitis. Medicinally thyme is used for respiratory infections in the form of a tincture, tisane, salve, syrup or by steam inhalation[citation needed]. Because it is antiseptic, thyme boiled in water and cooled is very effective against inflammation of the throat when gargled 3 times a day.

History: Ancient Egyptians used thyme for embalming. The ancient Greeks used it in their baths and burnt it as incense in their temples, believing that thyme was a source of courage. It was thought that the spread of thyme throughout Europe was thanks to the Romans, as they used it to purify their rooms and to "give an aromatic flavour to cheese and liqueurs". In the European Middle Ages, the herb was placed beneath pillows to aid sleep and ward off nightmares. In this period, women would also often give knights and warriors gifts that included thyme leaves as it was believed to bring courage to the bearer. Thyme was also used as incense and placed on coffins during funerals as it was supposed to assure passage into the next life.

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