Oregano

Spices up your food and promotes good health!

Oregano is an important culinary herb, used for the flavor of its leaves, which are more flavorful when dried than fresh. It’s well known all over Greece and widely used in all kind of recipes.

Oregano has an aromatic, warm and slightly bitter taste, which can vary in intensity. Factors such as climate, seasons and soil composition may affect the aromatic oils present, and this effect may be greater than the differences between the various species of plants.

Oregano is an excellent source of vitamin K and a very good source of manganese, iron, dietary fiber, and calcium. In addition, oregano is a good source of vitamin E and tryptophan. Moreover, oregano has been known for centuries for its power to heal. It has powerful bacteria and fungi killing properties. It is used as a painkiller and anti-inflammatory. Oregano tea is a treatment for indigestion, coughs, and to stimulate menstruation. The oil of oregano is used for toothache, and in some cosmetics. The leaves and flowering stems are natural antiseptics because of high thymol content.

Oregano is a native plant of the Greek countryside and grows mainly on the mountain slopes of Greece. Its name is derived from the Greek words oros (mountain) and ganos (joy) since not only was it a symbol of happiness, but it made the hillsides on which it grew look beautiful. It continues to be an important erosion-control plant: its roots reduce soil erosion on mountain slopes.

According to Greek mythology, the sweet, spicy scent of oregano was created by the goddess Aphrodite as a symbol of happiness. In ancient Greece, bridal couples were crowned with garlands of oregano, while oregano plants were placed on tombs to give peace to departed spirits.

While many people think of pizza when they think of oregano, this wonderful herb can add a warm, balsamic and aromatic flavor to many different dishes. In Greek cooking, oregano is used in tomato sauces, with meats, fish, cheese, egg dishes, salads, and with vegetables including tomatoes, zucchini, and green beans.

Next time you ‘ll enjoy a slice of pizza, don’t hesitate to garnish it with some fresh oregano, or just add a few sprigs of fresh oregano to a container of olive oil in order to infuse it with the essence of the herb, your appetite but  more important health will reward you for your choice.

MLGFB Tip:

How to store fresh & dried oregano

  • Fresh oregano should be stored in the refrigerator wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel. It may also be frozen, either whole or chopped, in airtight containers.
  • Alternatively, you can freeze the oregano in ice cube trays covered with either water or stock that can be added when preparing soups or stews.
  • Dried oregano should be kept in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place where it will keep fresh for about six months.
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