Za'atar is both a Middle Eastern herb and a spice blend. The herb za'atar is so treasured for its savory-thyme-oregano flavor that it's called the "king of herbs." Za'atar, the spice blend, is a combination of dried za'atar, sesame seeds, ground sumac, and other herbs and spices. The blends vary from region to region, but, generally, the flavor is herbal and nutty.
The za'atar herb is rarely exported, so it's safe to assume that recipes calling for za'atar refer to the spice blend.
To get to know za'atar, we suggest you order a few different varieties and try them. One teaspoon of za’atar is a good starting point.
Read a post from our Test Kitchen for ideas for incorporating za'atar into recipes.