Thyme for Love: When Tomato Season and a Thyme & Co. Fundraiser Meet

by Charlottesville29

Lunch required some creativity this week.

On the one hand, when Virginia’s ever-too-brief tomato season come around, local tomatoes are a must for almost every meal. Whether for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, a simple tomato sandwich usually does the trick, with as few adornments as possible to detract from the tomatoes’ flavor. This year’s harvest from Whisper Hill Farm seems even better than usual.

On the other hand, this week Thyme & Co. launched a fundraiser for victims of the massive explosion in Beirut: From Charlottesville to Beirut, with Love. Rami Daniel opened Thyme & Co. last year to bring a taste of Beirut to Charlottesville, reflecting the generosity and hospitality of the Lebanese culture, he says. In the aftermath of last week’s devastating explosion, Thyme & Co.. is now sending love back from Charlottesville to Beirut. Even as Thyme & Co.’s business suffers the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, proceeds from sales of Thyme and Co.’s Za’atar Manousheh will go to recovery efforts in Beirut.

There can be few more delicious ways to be charitable than eating Thyme and Co.’s Za’atar Manousheh. Daniel blends dried thyme, sesame and sumac with olive oil, and rubs the mixture on a disc of handmade flatbread dough. Then, it’s into the restaurant’s traditional basalt rock oven, which cooks the bread in a matter of seconds, sometimes charring the edges. Like Whisper Hill Farm tomatoes, Daniel’s Za’atar Manousheh needs no adornments.

But, with Thyme & Co.’s fundraiser coinciding with tomato season, how to avoid missing one or the other?