Origanum Vulgare

Topics: Oregano, Food, Flavor Pages: 1 (305 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Origanum Vulgare

The culinary herb oregano is mostly used in foods. Oregano also known as the ‘pizza herb' is used in a number of Italian dishes as it goes especially well with tomatoes. All the flavors of oregano are prominent in Italian cooking and in robust dishes of certain other cuisine, such as Mexicans chili con carne. Italians call oregano the mushroom herb but use it with many other foods as well. The Spanish word oregano means marjoram. Oregano is also known as marjoram in northern and central Europe. In Greek, Oregano means ‘Joy of the Mountains' from where it is gathered. Before modern day medicines were invented for stomachaches, oregano was used for minor food poisonings and convulsions. Externally, oregano was used on skin irritations to cease the itch. The French included it in soaps and pomades. The Greeks crowned newlyweds with oregano and planted it on graves as well as using the herb medically. Oregano's German name, wurstkraut, reveals its use of seasoning sausages. The English used oregano for perfumes, washing waters, and used it for dyes to turn wool purple and linen reddish brown. In good health and quality, oregano should have good color, even sized leaf pieces and a fresh aromatic aroma. The leaves of oregano are very aromatic, slightly pointed and hairy. The flowers are white, and bloom from late July to September. Oregano grows to be 2 feet tall, and rich, moist soil makes the aroma and flavor of oregano weak. Oregano has been used for many other things in the past, and has been very helpful and constructive to humans. It has been essential in cooking and an important ingredient in types of medications. Oregano may be a small herb, but it is a significant herb and is used all around the world, in many different ways
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