Herbs - Oregano

Arabic Anrar
Danish Oregano
Dutch Wilde Marjolein
English Wild marjoram, Oregan
French Marjolaine bâtarde, Marjolaine sauvage, Origan, Pelevoué,
German Oregano, Wilder Majoran, Dost, Kostets
Italian Erba acciuga, Origano
Norwegian Kung, Bergmynte
Spanish Oregano
Swedish Oregano, Vild Mejram, Kungsmynta

Aromatic, warm and slightly bitter, oregano largely varies in intensity: Good quality is so strong that it almost numbs the tongue, but the cultivators adapted to colder climate have often-unsatisfactory flavor. Used plant part is the Leaves. This plant belongs to Lamiaceae family (mint family).

Main Constituents

The essential oil (max. 4%) may contain variable amounts of the two phenoles carvacrol and thymol furthermore, a variety of monoterpene hydrocarbons (limonene, terpinene, ocimene, caryophyllene, beta-bisabolene and p-cymene) and monoterpene alcohols (linalool, 4-terpineol) are reported.


Several species of genus Origanum are native to the Mediterranean, all of which are traded as a spice. The influence of climate, season and soil on the composition of the essential oil is greater than the difference between the various species. A closely related plant is marjoram from Asia Minor, which, however, differs significantly in taste, because phenolic compounds are missing in its essential oil.

It's usage all over the world

Oregano is coincide sine qua non in Italian cuisine, where it is used for tomato sauces fried vegetables and grilled meat. Together with basil, it makes up for the character of Italian dishes; on Italian variants of bouquet garni. The dish most associated with oregano is pizza, a kind of open pie: Bread dough topped with tasty stuff and baked.

The cuisines of other Mediterranean countries make less use of it, but it is of some importance for Spanish, French and Greek cooking. Outside the Mediterranean region, oregano is, rather surprisingly, little in use, except among Italian immigrants. The very similar, but stronger, taste of Mexican oregano is popular not only in its native country Mexico, but also in the south of the US, where it is frequently used to flavor chili con carne (meat stewed with chilies and sometimes beans) or other Mexico-inspired dishes.

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