Monday, 11 August 2008

Underrated Oregano

Oregano and marjoram are two herbs that many think are one of the same. Even botanists make claims that there is no difference between the two herbs. Well they are different no matter what scientist say, if you cook and use herbs you will know that the two herbs in question have a distinct difference to a recipe.
We are going to just take the greatly underrated oregano in this instance and is mainly produced in Turkey with a slightly bitter but stronger flavour than its Greek neighbour.
The use of oregano in medicine is prolific to say the least with the oil of the oregano herb well know throughout history as one of the strongest and most effective antibiotics. Coming from natural sources it is entirely safe to use. It also works against fungus, parasites and viruses and can be used externally and internally. What's more there are no negative side effects!
On the healthy food front, going back during the late 1940s, oregano became very popular it he United States, the reason being that American war veterans brought back with the the taste they had experienced with pizzas in which oregano was a plentiful topping. It did a fine double act taste wise with tomatoes and the sauces made from tomatoes. The addition of egg, cheese and basil made up a combination that was born and bred in Italy.
There are two other types of oregano, the Greek oregano and the Mexican varieties and they can be interchangeable with many dishes that require oregano. In Mexican cooking the Mexican oregano is used for its specific earthy taste and has small buds and flowers much more predominate that the Greek variety which has have a more leafy element.
Meat, liver and kidney dishes, along with salads and many stuffing are great with the addition of oregano. It is not just confined to pizzas dishes as many believe. Many soups, vegetable dishes, pasta sauces and scrambled eggs are also a great combining match for this versatile herb.
Fresh oregano is the best if you can grow it or buy it and with lightly sauteed courgette and onions is a treat you must try.For a simple elegant appetizer, even a simply dish of cheese on toast will be transformed into something really special is oregano it sprinkled on one minute before removing from the grill.
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