What Is Thyme And What Does It Taste Like?

When searching for something to add a pop of freshness to a meal, thyme — pronounced the same as "time," says The Spruce Eats — is a great go-to herb to enhance the flavor of any dish.

A thyme plant boasts tiny but flavorful leaves on long sprigs and is easy-growing enough to add to any home garden, be it indoor or outdoor (via The Spruce Eats). While throwing a whole sprig into a pot is doable, it's more common to just eat the small leaves. To remove the leaves from the sprigs more easily, Thrive Cuisine explains that you can pinch and brush your fingers down the stem to loosen them.

The herb's origins date back to ancient Mediterranean societies, according to The Spruce Eats. Now, the herb is prevalent in dishes across the globe and is especially popular in Mediterranean and French dishes, says Thrive Cuisine. But what does thyme taste like?

Thyme's fresh flavor enhances a multitude of meals

Part of thyme's flavor profile, according to Thrive Cuisine, can be linked back to its relation to the mint plant. It has an herbaceous, earthy taste with a hint of mintiness — minus the numbing mouthfeel that accompanies a mint leaf. The dried thyme sold on the spice rack of your local grocery store carries a different flavor than the fresh leaves on the sprig you'd find in the produce section. Thrive Cuisine explains that the fresh stuff is "cleaner-tasting," which accounts for why fresh thyme is often more prevalent in recipes than its dried counterpart. There are multiple types of thyme. Lemon thyme, for example, offers a more citrus-forward flavor and aroma than the woodsy scent of classic thyme, The Spruce Eats explains.

When it comes to cooking with thyme, there aren't a whole lot of savory dishes it would be bad in. Thyme is often found in sauces across all cuisines and is also a popular toss-in for potato dishes, soups, bread, risottos, and is commonly used in pre-bottled herb blends, says Thrive Cuisine. So look no further for the perfect spring spice garden addition that is perfect for sprinkling on just about anything!