Oregano

Not just a pizza topping.

The Greeks so cherished this herb that they named it oregano, or “joy of the mountain.” World War II veterans agreed, sparking demand for the “pizza herb” once back in the states. Maybe best known as a pizza spice, oregano has a wide range of culinary and medicinal uses.

Beyond pizza, oregano is most commonly paired with roasted meat, fish and vegetables in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines. Turkish kebab restaurants usually keep some dried oregano on the table, just like your local pizza joint. Oregano has a zesty, pungent, slightly sweet flavor with a strong aroma when dried or in cooking.  It pairs well with tomatoes, which have the sweet acidity to match oregano’s floral pungency.

Oregano has antiseptic properties, and has been used for centuries to treat bacterial infections of the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems.

Mexican oregano is similar to oregano, but of a different plant family. Mexican oregano is stronger flavored and less floral, making it an easier pair with spicy foods.

Fresh Red Tomato oregano brings new life to dishes tired from the standard dried stuff. Add it to your cooking today! Or do as the Romans and Greeks did: fashion oregano laurels for the bride and groom, or just to wear around the house.

Storage

Keep fresh oregano on your counter, with the stems submerged in a glass of water. Do not wash until just before use. Dried oregano should be kept in an airtight container in a dark, cool place.