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Oregano is a shrub-like herb with multiple-branched stems, growing either upright or in a creeping manner, depending on the variety. It can grow as tall as three feet in height. The leaves are narrow and pinnate, or arrow-shaped, and have a soft, fuzzy texture. They grow in pairs, well-spaced out along tender stems. As the plant grows, the more mature stems become woody at the base. In the late summer, small white flowers bloom from the flower spikes (bracts) at the top of the stems. Typically, Oregano is harvested just before the flowers bloom, when the flavor and aroma is at its peak. Oregano is said to have a ‘balsamic’ flavor; a combination of mint (a closely related herb), thyme, and rosemary. The taste is strong and somewhat bitter.
Oregano is available year-round.
Oregano is botanically classified as Origanum vulgare, and is often referred to as “Wild Marjoram.” While marjoram is also in the genus Origanum, the two are different species. The major differences between the two herbs can be found in the compounds contained in each plant’s volatile (or “essential”) oils. Oregano has long been used as a culinary and medicinal herb in Europe and more recently worldwide.
Recipes that include Greek Oregano. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Mother Earth Living||Lentil Soup with Bay and Oregano Recipe|
|Aglaia's Table||Baked Giant Beans with Garlic and Dell (Gigantes Skordati)|