Like lace, thyme appears delicate with its small elliptical silver-tinged leaves, yet thyme is an herb of with a sharp and penetrating fragrance of which there are some sixty varieties and it is used in many food cultures around the world producing vastly different taste profiles.  It pairs well with mushrooms, stews, savory pies, and sauces as many and varied as the cultures that employ the herb not only as an flavoring additive in culinary creations, but as a preservative of stored foods, a cleanser, and as a healthful supplement.  As well as containing antioxidants, and vitamin C and A, thyme has antimicrobial properties which not only keep foods from spoiling, but can “cleanse” foods in which microbes have begun to grow.  Thyme protects and increases the percentage of healthy fats (omega-3 fatty acid) found in cell membranes and other cell structures such as the brain, kidney, and heart.

Used in Egypt, the oil of thyme was used to anoint, preserve, and prepare the bodies of those passing on to the next world.  Thyme was associated with excellence and valor and bows of the pungent herb were burned to incense the   temples of the gods of ancient Greece. 

Thyme holds preeminence in French culinary culture in the bouquet garni.  While components of the herb bundle typically used to flavor stews may vary, thyme is nearly always included.

"Thyme is a hard herb, used either fresh or dried. This is one of my great favourites and is used in many marinades and stews in this household, fresh from the garden. There are thymes with a scent of lemon, but I prefer the barn-door basic thyme, close to the wild thyme that grows on Puck's bank." - Suzy Oakes

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