I love all herbs and spices; however, my favorite has to be the ever-versatile thyme.
If you’ve never cooked with this flavorsome herb before and wondered, “what does thyme taste like?’ then I’m happy to tell you that you’re about to find out all about it!
What is thyme?
Thyme is an herb that belongs to the mint family. It’s closely related to oregano and has a somewhat similar flavor and fragrance.
It’s commonly used in numerous cuisines including the Mediterranean, European, African, Central American, and the Caribbean.
The origin of thyme goes back to ancient communities in the Mediterranean and surrounding areas. Two common kinds of thyme are readily used in cooking – common thyme and lemon thyme.
As the name suggests, lemon thyme features a distinct citrusy taste and aroma, which adds a subtle, refreshing flavor to the recipes.
This herb can be dried and used in cooking applications as well. Both fresh and dried thyme are readily available in supermarkets.
You can also grow the thyme plant in your home garden easily. Apart from being used as a seasoning, it’s also used for medicinal purposes!
How much is a sprig of thyme?
A sprig of any herb is generally defined as a 2 to 4-inch piece of that plant with the stems and leaves.
Usually, substituting about ½ t of dried herb for a sprig works well. When it comes to a sprig of thyme, a normal sprig will typically equal between ¼ and ¾ teaspoon of chopped thyme.
How to use fresh thyme
Thyme is an incredibly versatile herb; you can use it whole, pick the leaves from the stem, and chop them up to add to your recipes at any time during the cooking process.
As it is, if you want a more pronounced flavor, add the thyme leaves at the beginning of the process. It’s better to discard the stems before cooking because they are quite fibrous and won’t break down during cooking.
Thanks to the subtle thyme flavor, this herb can also be blended with an array of herbs such as oregano, basil, parsley, tarragon, rosemary, and even chives. Thyme adds an extra layer of refreshing flavor to your dish, without overpowering it.
You can also add this herb to savory dishes such as roasted or braised meat such as lamb, beef, or pork, veggies, and fish. In addition, you can use thyme seasoning for savory baked goods.
You can make a dry rub of thyme and other herbs for your dish and also add it to your stuffing. It’s also used to add a depth of flavor to soups, marinades, and stocks.
Thyme is also popularly used in fish sauces and soups such as clam chowder as well. It can also be added to beverages such as teas and cocktails.
Add thyme to a mojito for a refreshing flavor. You can also flavor your eggs and cheese with thyme spice. It truly elevates the taste of a cheesy tomato omelet!
And how about some roasted baby carrots with thyme?
How much dried thyme can be used in place of fresh thyme?
You can use dried thyme instead of fresh thyme in any recipe. Just make sure to use one-third of the amount mentioned for fresh thyme in the recipe.
If your recipe calls for 1T of fresh thyme, then use about 1t of dried thyme instead. Moreover, remember to add the dried thyme to your recipe in the early stages as it needs more time to release its flavor than its fresh counterpart.
If your kitchen happens to be running out of thyme, these popular substitutes should have you covered.
What does thyme taste like?
So now that we have discussed the basics, let’s discuss the question, “what does thyme taste like?”
Generally, thyme has a sharp, pronounced minty flavor with grassy, floral notes. It’s a bit peppery and sweet as well.
Most varieties of thyme have subtle variations in flavor. For one, the citrusy flavor of lemon thyme is more prominent than other types.
The taste of thyme is quite like the flavor of oregano, which is herbal and earthy.
Overall, the flavor of thyme is subtle enough to blend nicely with the taste of other herbs.
The bottom line
I hope this guide helps answer your question, “What does thyme taste like?”
Thyme is a savory, earthy herb that’s quite similar to oregano in taste and aroma. It’s also an incredibly versatile herb that can be used in an array of dishes such as sauces, salads, soups, entrées, etc.
Now that you know everything about thyme and how to use it, a refreshing flavor now awaits!