WHAT IS OREGANO?
This ancient herb is known by many names, including mint, Spanish thyme and wild majoram. The name is Greek in origin meaning “mountain joy.” Served both fresh and dried, it’s striking aroma and strong flavor have become synonymous with pizza in the States. In terms of varietals, Mexican has the most flavor followed by Spanish and then Greek. Unlike most herbs, oregano can be added earlier in the cooking process when adding flavor to a dish. Summer grilling recipes in particular work well with this herb. Or for a cold weather dish, check out our fresh baked lasagna recipe!
WHY IS OREGANO GOOD FOR YOU?
It is filled with anti-oxidants (carvacrol, limonene, terpinene, thymol, and caryophyllene). Much like with cumin, the carvacrol and thymol are rumored to also have anti-bacterial properties. Historically oregano has been a staple of herbal remedies for gastrointestinal distress, cramps, muscle aches and reducing inflammation. This latter trait is while some consider it to have anti-cancer properties.
WHEN IS OREGANO IN SEASON?
This is a summer plant that loves strong sunlight. Cuttings can be planted a month before the last Spring frost as well. However while they’re basically weeds, they will require well-drained soil.
HOW SHOULD OREGANO BE STORED?
When fresh a wet paper towel and a zip lock bag will keep when refrigerated for a few days. Fresh oregano can also be frozen if thoroughly cleaned and stripped from each stem. Dried oregano stored in a cool, dark place (preferably air-tight) can easily keep for months. If you see any mold however don’t use it.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MAJORAM AND OREGANO?
They are different species but both are members of the mint family. This means they’re both very similar in appearance. In general majoram is less aromatic and has a milder, more woody flavor. And if you’re out of one you can easily substitute the other!