Za'atar the key to Middle East Peace?

03 February 2010 10:48 by SarainAkko

Although I knew of government actions to protect the relatively scarse supply of Zaatar in Israel (mostly the Galilee) ...

Did you know that wild Zaatar is being picked to near extinction? That illegal picking of the plant used as a dried spice and a healthful tea are punishable offenses? That Za'atar is so rare outside of Israel that Jordan and other Arab nations have created a substitute for *Za'atar made mostly of salt, parsley, and sesame?

Yes, Yes and Yes.
I see Za'atar from my home window and often can spot groups of women gathering it fresh from the fields. The price of actual Za'atar outside of Israel (and not a remix of Za'atar like flavors) can fetch a pretty penny.

True connoisseurs of Middle Eastern cuisine know the difference and the growers who deal in this plant can sell out their crops for years in advance to companies supplying what many consider the most basic of Israeli seasonings. Cheeses, breads, hummus, salads, veggies, pizzas and more all seem to be laden with Za'atar. I doubt there are very many Israelis who go a full day without encountering this aromatic mixture in some form or another.

How does this create world peace? How about a trade?

Normalized relations between nations and we'll start forking over this precious commodity.

See the second half of this article

*Za'atar itself is an actual plant -Hyssop from the bible- but has come to mean a more general combination of seasonings throughout the Middle East where it is either in short spply or unabtainable.

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