Za'atar (Arabic: زعتر; also spelled satar, zahatar or zatr) is a mixture of herbs and spices used as a condiment with Middle Eastern origins. The name of the condiment shares the Arabic name of the herb used as the main ingredient.
Latin names for the herbs called za'atar include Origanum majorana (sweet marjoram), Origanum syriacum (also known as Biblical hyssop, Syrian oregano and wild marjoram), and Thymus capitatus (thyme).Za'atar barri ("wild za'atar") is identified as Origanum vulgare which in English can refer to European oregano, oregano, pot marjoram, wild marjoram, winter majoram, and wintersweet. Both oregano and marjoram are closely related Mediterranean plants of the Labiatae family which also includes mint and sage, so it is unsurprising that these herbs are commonly used as substitutes for one another.
Za'atar is generally prepared using ground dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, or some combination thereof, mixed with toasted sesame seeds, and salt. Some varieties may add savory, cumin, coriander or fennel seed. A Lebanese variety of Za'atar usually contains sumac berries, and has a distinct dark red color.