Oregano

Description

Oregano Page Main

Oregano is the dried leaves of the herbs Origanum spp or Lippia spp (Mexican). Both varieties have traditionally been harvested in the "wild." The Mediterranean variety is closely related to Marjoram and is very similar in physical appearance. "Oregano" means Marjoram in Spanish, and although sometimes referred to as "Wild Marjoram" it is a different herb.

Uses

Mediterranean Oregano, which gained its popularity after the troops returned from WWII, is found in much of Italian cuisine: pizza, spaghetti sauces, and other tomato-based sauces. Mexican Oregano is found in chili powders and adds flavor to chili con carne and other Mexican dishes.

Origins

Turkey is the principal supplier of Oregano to McCormick. It is stronger flavored and more bitter than the Greek variety. The Mexican type has a distinctively different flavor which is less minty, more hay-like and less bitter than the other sources.

Folklore

The word "Oregano" is Greek, derived and translated means "Joy of the Mountain". Oregano was popular in ancient Egypt and Greece as a flavoring for vegetables, wines, meats and fish.

Quick Facts

Oregano Whole Leaves Whole Oregano Leaves
Oregano Ground Ground Oregano

Color

Light to dark green

Flavor & Aroma

Strongly aromatic; slightly bitter

Sensory Profile

Oregano is generally described as possessing a strongly aromatic, camphoraceous aroma and a slightly bitter, pungent flavor. This pungent flavor is composed of earthy/musty, green, hay and minty notes. The spice imparts a slightly astringent mouthfeel.
Health Research
: MSI Funded

Researchers in the United Kingdom investigated consumer liking of lower salt tomato soup with herbs and spices.

Researchers at The University of Colorado examined whether adding herbs and spices to reduced-fat foods would improve their consumer liking
Scientists from The University of California investigated the effect of consumption of a hamburger cooked with a polyphenol-rich spice mixture on postprandial lipid oxidation and endothelial dysfunction in men with Type 2 diabetes.

View more Oregano research