Oregano FAQ

What is Oregano?

Oregano is a flowering plant in the mint family, a herbaceous perennial herb.

Where does Oregano come from?

Oregano is native to temperate Western and Southwestern Eurasia. It comes from the plant family known as Lamiaceae, the latin name is Origanum Vulgare. It is native to Europe and now naturalised in the Middle East and parts of the Mediterranean.

What’s the history of Oregano?

Oregano was originally grown in Greece and then became popular with the Romans, which in turn spread the use of the herb to Europe and Northern Africa. Its popularity in the U.S. began when soldiers returning from World War II brought back with them a taste for the “pizza herb”, which had probably been eaten in southern Italy for centuries.

What does Oregano look like?

Oregano leaves are opposite, ovately elliptical, downy greyish-green in colour and between 1–4 cm in length, growing on reddish branching stems. The 2-lipped purple flowers are pale pink to magenta in colour and 3–4 mm in length, and are produced in clusters surrounded by bracts at the ends of each of the stems branches. Our Oregano can be described as light green to mid olive chopped leaves with light brown yellowish pieces.

How would you describe the flavour and odour of Oregano?

Typical of Oregano; strong, aromatic and Mediterranean taste. It has an aromatic, warm, and slightly bitter flavour, which can vary in intensity.

What are alternative names for Oregano?

Alternative names for Oregano are Wild Marjoram, Field Marjoram, Wind Marjoram, Spanish Thyme, Pizza Herb, Wintersweet, European Oregano, Oregan, Orégano, Origan, Orikano, Rigan, Ao le Gang, Wilde Marjolein, Marjolaine Sauvage, Origan, Pelevoué, Sajivan, Vild Mejram and Kekik Out.

Should I use fresh or dried Oregano for culinary use?

Oregano is a culinary herb, used for the flavour of its leaves, which can be more flavourful when dried than fresh.

What is the suggested use of Oregano?

Oregano works well with eggs, cheese, fish, meat and poultry; use it to flavour quiches, frittatas, savoury tarts, pizzas and pasta. Add to stuffing’s and savoury crumbles, sprinkle onto salads and into salad dressings. The leaves can be added to pot pourri and sachets to help deter moths and other flying insects. Dried leaves can be added to herbal sleep pillows and bath sachets. Oregano’s most prominent modern use is as the staple herb of Italian cuisine. It is most frequently used with roasted, fried, or grilled vegetables, meat, and fish. Oregano combines well with spicy foods popular in southern Italy. The herb is widely used in cuisines of the Mediterranean Basin, the Philippines, and Latin America, especially in Argentinian cuisine. In Turkish cuisine, oregano is mostly used for flavouring meat, especially for mutton and lamb. In barbecue and kebab restaurants, it can be usually found as a condiment, together with paprika, salt, and pepper. The dried and ground leaves are most often used in Greece to add flavor to Greek salad, and is usually added to the lemon-olive oil sauce that accompanies fish or meat grills and casseroles.

About the Author

Georgia

As an animal lover and baking enthusiast, Georgia can often be found experimenting with plant-based recipes in her kitchen.

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