Za'atar is a spice I only discovered after I had been eating it for years. My favorite pita shop in Syracuse, NY sold this amazing pita bread with spices and olive oil on top. The day I realized those spices were za'atar was the day I started making the pita at home (sorry El Saha!). Then I couldn't help but add za'atar to everything!
Za'atar can refer to both an herb and a blend of spices. One type of za'atar is actually a species of wild thyme found throughout the Middle East. Another type is known throughout the Mediterranean as European oregano or marjoram. However, za'atar also refers to a blend of many different spices, and that blend can differ based on where you buy it. Typically za'atar includes oregano, sumac, sesame seeds, thyme, as well as marjoram, coriander, and number of other spices. My favorite spice shop sells several varieties including Lebanese, Israeli, Syrian, and Jordanian. Any type will do for this recipe.