The word “zaatar”, see other spellings below, refers to both the herb and blend of ground ingredients including the herb.
Zaatar thyme grows wild between rocks in the hills and mountains throughout the Mediterranean Middle East. Picked, washed and then sun-dried, zaatar (thyme) becomes a key ingredient in zaatar (the blend of ingredients).
The flavors of zaatar, as a blend, vary regionally just as curry recipes in India or mole recipes in Mexico would vary by region.
Other spellings include: zatar, zater, za’atar, za’ater, zahtar, zahter