Mediterranean Oregano is a staple culinary herb, used for the assertive, woodsy, slightly peppery flavor of its leaves, which can be used fresh or dry, but are more flavorful when dried. Mediterranean Oregano's most prominent modern use is in Italian and Greek cuisines.
Ready to use. Add to taste.
Storage & handling
Store in a dry, cool place.
Mediterranean Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is a common perennial herb that is native to the Mediterranean region and southwestern Eurasia. It prefers hot, relatively dry climates and grows with purple flowers and spade-shaped, olive-green leaves. Dried Mediterranean Oregano has a yellowish-green or brown color.
Mediterranean Oregano is a staple culinary herb, used for the assertive, woodsy, slightly peppery flavor of its leaves, which can be used fresh or dry, but are more flavorful when dried.
Oregano's most prominent modern use is in Italian and Greek cuisines, as well as their American derivatives. After World War II, when soldiers returning from Italy brought back Oregano to the United States, it was known as the "pizza herb," as it is often used to flavor tomato-based pizza and pasta sauces. It also marries well with spicy flavors, such as those of southern Italy, where it is a preferred herb. In Greek cuisine, it is often used in combination with olive oil and lemon juice or zest, which picks up the citrusy and peppery elements of its flavor profile. This flavor combination is often used with lamb, fish and chicken, as well as in the classic dressing for Greek salad.
Oregano's uses are not only culinary. The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates used it as an antiseptic, as well as a cure for stomach and respiratory distress. Even today in modern Greece, certain types of oregano are sometimes used to treat sore throats.
Mediterranean oregano is one of the most ubiquitous dried herbs. It is used in most cuisine and can define the flavor of a dish. This simple vinaigrette has an Italian profile thanks to garlic and an extra shot of oregano. Using a high speed blender helps expose the essential oils in the herb making the flavor even more potent.