The Z&Z Difference
Z&Z stands for zayt and za’atar (oil and za’atar) two of the most integral ingredients in any Arab home.
The Arabic word za'atar (zaah-tar) means two things: It is the name of a herb that grows primarily in the hills of the eastern Mediterranean and, more importantly, it is the name of a mixture of that herb blended with sesame seeds and other spices—a blend made by mixing nostalgia with necessity. Eaten as a dip with olive oil, za'atar is a ubiquitous staple on breakfast tables in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Palestine. "We had nothing to eat but za'atar and olive oil" is an expression meaning, "We had only our staples."
-Alia yunis, Writer and filmmaker
For us, za’atar took on a special meaning because it was always at the center of our tables and it was always the first smell that woke us up every weekend when our mom or grandma was baking fresh bread for breakfast. Our connection to za’atar ties into our childhood as much as it does our identity. Food is still one of the main ways we stay connected to where we come from.
The dinners, the recipes, the social customs, and the hospitality was our way to share in on our culture as arab-americans. That’s why we are so passionate about it. We wanted to do something special by building a business that focused on a food that was as symbolic as it was delicious. We knew (and have now seen time and time again) that just the aroma of za’atar alone invokes feelings of home and being surrounded by people you love.