Zatar

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by cookinscool, Mar 13, 2003.

  1. cookinscool

    cookinscool

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    Its this spice that i always get when i go to israel. It's really good but i don't know what it is. I think its a mixture, does anyone know what it is and where i can get it here. Penzey's maybe? I just discovered that we have one but i haven't had the chance to go there yet.

    ROn
     
  2. anneke

    anneke

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  3. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    I get my zatar from a local middle eastern market. Check out those markets for they're quite an adventure.
     
  4. suzanne

    suzanne

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    There are two kinds of zataar: red, which is ground sumac, and green, which is wild marjoram mixed with sesame seeds and other herbs. Which is the one you mean? The sumac version is very tart, and terrific sprinkled on yogurt with olive oil. The green makes a great breakfast sprinkled on pita that has been drizzled with olive oil. And of course both are used in middle eastern recipes.

    I think we've talked about zataar before. Try doing a search on it here, spelling it as many different ways as you can imagine. I'm pretty sure you will get some other information and suggestions for ways to use it.
     
  5. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    The Jordanian who showed me how to "use" zatar sprinkled some of the red stuff on Pita. Just an fyi.
     
  6. cookinscool

    cookinscool

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    It's the green type of zataar. We like to take a bagle and put a slice of tomato and then cover it with what i guess is edam cheese...we also get that from israel when we go but its not called that over there. Then sprinkle the zataar and toast it....its really good...of course you can also do it with pita too...thanks for your help
     
  7. suzanne

    suzanne

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    Glad to help. I love zataar. I often sprinkle the green on lamb chops before I grill them, and the red on chicken. It's so much fun to experiment.:lips:
     
  8. chiffonade

    chiffonade

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    Zatar is one of my favorite things for dipping bread. You place the zatar in a small saucer, add some good quality olive oil to another small dipping dish and serve warm pitas. You first dip the pita into the oil, then into the zatar.

    Zatar is available at middle eastern stores that cater to Arab populations. It comes in green and brown.

    I've never tried Penzey's but if it holds up to all their other stuff, it should be great.

    After moving to FL, we recently happened upon an ethnic middle eastern food store (just one of the surprises of this area!). When I asked for zatar, the proprietor asked me if I was Arab to which I responded, "No, I just eat Arab..." He pegged my husband on first glance as Armenian. We sampled some sweets and I told him about the neighborhood where I lived in New York and how they sold such delicacies as lamb spinal cord.

    His zatar was wonderful.
     
  9. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    There are some wonderful Syrian stores in Houston that have instore bakeries with zatar coated pitas....some with feta....it's been 10 years and the name escapes me but they were incredible.
     
  10. shahar

    shahar

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    OK. Time for a serious reply from someone who knows.
    First it's Za'atar. In arabic that's a generic name for herbs of the thyme/oregeno family. It includes Oregeno(green Za'atar), wild thyme(persian Za'atar), marjoram(roman Za'atar) and more. Where I grew up(the galillee) there are about twent different wild variaties.
    Za'atar is also a name for a spice mixture. It includes sumak - the ground berry of a medditaranean tree, purple and tart - sesemee seeds and usually about two to five differnet Za'atars.

    There's no such thing as "red Za'atar"(sorry Suzanne). if it's sumak than it's sumak. Now sumak is great thing. Add it flour you use for fried fish, coat a seared tuna with it for middleeastern "sashimi", add it a salsa and so forth. But beware, many sumaks have lemon salt added to them. It needs to be deep purple, slightly moist when fresh, and no absolutly no cristals hidding in.

    I use za'atar mixed with fresh labane(yogurt "cheese") for a stuffing for ravioli.
    Back when I was a shapard all I took with me was Zaatar, olive oil, flour and water. When hungry I would build a fire mix the flour and water to make simple coal pitas and eat that with za'atar mixed with olive oil. Very yummy at five in the morning!
     
  11. chrose

    chrose

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    I admit it, I had never heard of Za'atar before reading this post. Shortly after that I had the pleasure of having dinner with a friend who is from Saudi. I asked him about the Za'atar and he brought out a big bag. Was it of the highest quality available? I don't know, but I can say this: MY GOD IT WAS GOOD!!!
    What a combination, my favorite flavors. I can't wait to play with this stuff.
    Thanks Ron for bringing the post up!
     
  12. suzanne

    suzanne

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    Shahar, thank you for "setting us straight."

    Outside the Middle East, though, sumac IS sometimes refered to as zataar -- however transliterated (an inexact science at best), and however erroneous it may be to you. Sahadi Importers, a company of impeccable Middle Eastern lineage, labels it thus.

    Oh, and by the way, tuna as sashimi is not seared; sashimi is raw.
     
  13. shahar

    shahar

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    Thank you suzan.

    (BTW that's why I wrote "sashimi" and not sashimi)
     
  14. paula barham

    paula barham

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    Hi Shahar,
    I live in australia born in sydney but my heritage come from jerusalem .
    I love zatar and have it most mornings .
    I am looking in importing the stuff .
    do you know of any company I can contact to import the stuff to
    sydney.
     
  15. shahar

    shahar

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    I', reallyh sorry, but no.
     
  16. suzanne

    suzanne

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    Dear Paula -- I'm really surprised that you feel the need to import zaatar yourself. I think of Oz as such a progressive food place. Is there really no place in Sydney that carries it?

    BTW: are you talking about red (sumac) or green (wild marjoram plus other stuff)?