Oregano – Origins & Flavour
Oregano is a herb from the mint or Lamiaceae family. Often used in dishes for pizza and pasta sauce. Very renowned herb that found in the Mediterranean, and Mexican cuisine—notably used in chili powder. Fun fact is that the Greeks and Romans associated oregano with joy and happiness. To sum up, the word oregano itself is derived from Greek meaning “oros” is mountain and “ganos” is joy.
There isn’t as much variety with oregano versus other herbs. Common oregano can often be found in Mediterranean countries; and the strongest in flavour came from Mexico. Both Spanish and Greek ones; are much weaker in flavour than the rest. Most importantly, the taste of oregano can be described as being earthy; and green with some mint and hay—expect it to be slightly bitter too. (Source: The Spruce Eats)
Oregano is often used as supplements in a diet and as an aromatic oil. This is helpful for those who have stricter dietary needs: it is gluten-free and nice addition for vegan and paleo diets. Oregano is most noted for being antioxidant rich: thymol, carvacol, limonene, terpinene, ocimene and caryphyllene. People would make oregano oil to extract and preserve the antioxidant properties it has. Source: Medical News Today
Other notable benefits
- Herbal medicine use for skin sores, aching muscles, asthma, cramping, and more.
- Fights bacteria
- Relieve inflammation
- Regulate blood sugar and lipids
- Fights cancer
- Manage diabetes
- Helps treat depression
Cooking & Storing: The Do’s & The Don’ts
For dried oregano, you want to use it early in the cooking process for sauces and stews. For instance, always use the dried leaves and discard the stems. Fresh oregano is noted for having a more aggressive flavour. So be sure to only add a tiny amount at a time or else your dish might just become too bitter overpowering all the other flavours.
Store dried oregano in a cool, dark area in an airtight container. Fresh oregano can be kept in the refrigerator. But, used it within the same week. It can also be stored in the freezer, if needed.