We go through a lot of herbs here in the CHOW test kitchen, but prepping them—especially the woody-stemmed ones like thyme and marjoram—can get to be a bit of a chore. Typically, you take those herbs and hold them by the tip with one hand while zipping your fingers down the stem toward the base. This technique is tricky with thyme, which tends to grow in branched-out, bushy clusters, but we’ve made a discovery: There’s thyme out there that grows in straight sprigs (pictured on the right), making stripping a cinch. Be on the lookout for it next time you’re shopping, if you have a dish with thyme in mind.

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