PEBRELLA - wild mountain thyme
I cannot believe that in all the years I have been visiting Spain I had not seen or heard of Pebrella until last week, when I saw it among the dried herbs in a supermarket in Santa Pola.
I learned that pebrella (thymus piperella) is a member of the thyme family and is an indigenous variety of wild thyme which grows exclusively in the mountains around Murcia, Alicante and south of Valencia. The flavour is described as a combination of thyme, oregano and savoury and is used mainly with meat dishes and for marinated olives and cheese. If found fresh it can be added to salads.
It's name appears to come from "pebre" or pepper, and it is stronger and more "peppery" in taste than common thyme.
I'm taking some back to England but wonder if anyone else has come across it.
Santa Pola, January 2017
I met it first some years ago in Cuenca, and brought a couple of bunches home. It was superb in soups and stews, more flavoursome than ordinary time. WhenI ran out and needed more I could not find any. In the Valencia region, I learned that it had long been an essential in preserving olives. The plant does not like lowland areas, but prefers dry rocky hillsides.ReplyDelete
to continue, you can now buy pebrella plants, and I believe seed is now available as well. Suggest treating them as alpines and give light shade when sun is hot.ReplyDelete
Congratulations for your blog. I sell this local Spanish herb in my shop located in Valencia (Spain). Our customers use it mainly in the dish gazpacho manchego. I invite you to have a look to my online store of spices www.buyspices.netReplyDelete