What is oregano?
Oregano is a herb used to add flavour to your meals. It has medicinal properties and is being used extensively in the Italian, Greek, Spanish, and French kitchens since a long time. It belongs to the mint family and can be used in the fresh or dried form.
Oregano has several varieties including the Spanish, Mexican, and Greek, which are commonly used across the globe. In its fresh form, oregano has tiny leaves arranged in a rosette. The leaves may have a rough or smooth surface depending upon the variety. Its stalk appears purple or brown towards maturity. When it comes to flavour and taste, the Mexican oregano has more depth of flavour and is more pungent than the Spanish and Greek ones.
Oregano thrives well in a tropical climate and hence in the recent years, its cultivation has started in India too. "Stronger the intensity of the sunlight, more flavours the oregano retains.” says LF chef Gautam Mehrishi.
How does it taste?
Oregano is full of flavour and is slightly bitter and astringent. As herbs dry out, they lose out on their flavour. But that’s not the case with oregano. The dry oregano is more flavourful than its fresh counterpart. According to Medical News Today, a website for health and medical news, oregano gets its unique taste and aroma from chemicals such as thymol, caryophyllene, and ocimene. These also give it anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties.
How to add oregano in meals?
Dry oregano is most commonly used to sprinkle over pasta, pizza, salads, and sauces. If using fresh oregano, use it like any other herb. Tear the leaves and immediately add it to your dish as a garnish. The flavours remain fresh and the taste of the recipe is enhanced. According to chef Mehrishi, oregano tastes best with recipes involving flours, cakes, sauces and gravies. To know more on how to use oregano in Indian recipes, scroll up and watch the video.