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Mediterranean Oregano

Quick Overview

Cousin to Marjoram, the leaves of this herb have an unmistakable pungent, robust fragrance. It is peppery with a bite and often a lemony note. The dish most associated with oregano is pizza.

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Oregano is an herb native to the Mediterranean. It is related to the herb marjoram, sometimes being referred to as wild marjoram. Oregano has purple flowers and spade-shaped, olive-green leaves. It is a perennial, although it is grown as an annual in colder climates, as it often does not survive the winter. Oregano is planted in early spring, fairly dry soil, with full sun. It prefers a hot, relatively dry climate, but does well in other environments.

Additional Information

Common Uses Throughout the Mediterranean, fresh or dried oregano leaves lend their flavor to rustic dishes, including beans, thick soups, stews, casseroles, stuffing, and sauces. In Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine, it seasons chili con carne and fajitas and it is used in chili powder. Oregano is good with anchovies, artichokes, beans, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, chicken, corn, duck, eggplant, eggs, fish and shellfish, lamb, mushrooms, onions, pork, potatoes, poultry, spinach, squash, sweet peppers, tomatoes, veal, and venison.
History The word oregano is actually a derivation from Greek words ‘Oros’ meaning mounting, and ‘Ganos’ meaning joy. According to Greek mythology, oregano was created by goddess Aphrodite as a symbol of happiness. Because of this, the Greek believed using oregano in marriage ceremony would provide joy and usage of oregano in funerals would convey peace to the dead. After the Romans conquered the Greek, the Romans inherited the use of oregano and the Romans were the ones responsible for the extensive use of oregano all over Europe and abroad.
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