Za’atar is a truly ancient spice blend with roots that stretch back to Biblical times. The name is also used in reference to the herb thyme. There is evidence of its use in ancient Egypt and it was mentioned by Pliny the Elder.
Maimonides was a 12th-century Jewish philosopher, later described the mixture of herbs and spices. Maimonides considered za’atar brain food.
Its use as a staple of Arab cuisine would continue through medical times to the present. It also plays an important role in Palestinian households. Za’atar would eventually gain a starring role in Israeli cuisine, which it continues to hold.