I grew up hearing the word “thyme” being said many times and for the longest while thought it did not have a “h” in it.  That’s ’cause any Jamaican will tell you that we don’t pronounce the letter “h” properly :-).  It’s good fodder, but very true.  

Cooking With Kerwin - Thyme
Cooking With Kerwin – Thyme

Learning something like the German language just does not work very well for most Jamaicans either :-).  So as I continue with the “Jamaican Spice Reviews, Pimento was first” we will talk about that “bush” with the flavorful aroma called “thyme.”

You’ll see some Jamaican food recipes call for “a sprig of thyme,” that usually means one branch as shown in the image.  

A sprig of thyme
A sprig of thyme

As is typical of every Jamaican meal, you can put a little more or a little less depending on how much flavor you want.  Remember not to put too much so it does not become too overwhelming and all you taste in the finished meal is thyme. It will actually taste bitter and you don’t want that.

Thyme is typically used in seasoning almost every kind of meat and especially in soup (usually cooked on Saturdays) and rice and peas (usually cooked every Sunday).

You can usually find fresh thyme in your local grocery store in the produce section. Or head to the Farmers Market and seek it out. It’s best you buy the fresh thyme (much better flavor) as opposed to the bottled one. But if you live in a location where you cannot find the fresh one, the bottled one will do.

It’s preferred to use it while it’s green, but it can still be used when its dried.  Except at that point the leaves start to fall off, then it has a slightly different flavor, but you won’t taste it in the meal.

To store it, just place it in the plastic bag you placed it in at the grocery store inside the crisper part of your refrigerator with your other seasonings.

Let me know what you think of this article and if you’ve ever used thyme in your cooking and how did you like it by leaving a comment below.

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