Thyme, an herb humans have been using for thousands of years.
Thyme is an herb whose story weaves throughout human history. Historians believe that the ancient Sumerians were the first to cultivate thyme, possibly as early as 5,000 years ago. The Sumerians were the first to discover thyme’s antiseptic properties and used it as an anti fungal and a disinfectant.
Thyme was as popular in ancient Greece as it is today. Many say the modern genus name, Thymus, comes from the Greek thymos(also spelled thumos), which embodies the Greek concept of “spiritedness,” indicating courage. Others say Thymus comes from the Greek word meaning “to fumigate.” The ancient Greeks would compliment someone by saying that they smelled of thyme. They burned thyme incense in their temples, used sprigs of thyme to preserve wine and fruit, drank thyme tea to prevent nightmares, and grew thyme to nourish their beehives and provide them with a well-known scented honey that is still made on Mount Hymettus today as it was thousands of years ago.
The ancient Romans gave thyme to people who seemed melancholic or shy in the belief that thyme’s cheery scent could cure them. Pliny the Elder, who took some thyme plants with him when he moved away from Rome, recommended burning thyme as it “puts to flight all venomous creatures,” and the belief that thyme smoke repelled scorpions was especially widespread. The Romans adopted the Greeks’ symbolism of thyme, with warriors adding thyme to their baths before battles to give themselves a boost of bravery. They used thyme to flavor cheeses and liquors. They also introduced thyme to the British Isles, where it escaped cultivation to become a common sight on slopes and cliffs, where it still grows today.
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon thyme, or to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large mixing bowl add potatoes, olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper. Toss well. Line a sheet pan with foil and spray with a nonstick cooking spray. Pour potatoes onto pan and spread out so potatoes are in a single layer. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes or until fork tender. Turning once. Serve warm. Enjoy!