Written by Sara Dixon – Herb Society Member
Let’s address the fact that many academic tomes have been written about how Oregano is really Marjoram – and vice versa! And that something is really only Oregano if it has something called ‘cavacrol’ in it… Actually rather interesting!
Most importantly, if you put Marjoram under your pillow you will dream of your future love (bit of a problem if you think you’ve already met your love!). Before hops, Oregano was used to flavour beer.
Both are hardy and are fine outside. They like sunny, well-drained soil (so don’t leave them sitting in lots of water in your pot).
But we are here to cook. What do we need to know? Marjoram has a range of flavours from sweet to spicy, strong to mild. As does Oregano. I love Hot and Spicy Oregano as well as the creamily tasty Oregano Country Crème. And I love Compact Marjoram which has quite a mild flavour. Both need adding just before the end of the cooking process rather than at the beginning. Choose your favourite – we each have different taste buds so have a play and see which you enjoy. Try two – one which will add punchy spice, and another which will add mild sweetness.
How might you use your preferred herb?
Breadmaking – I LOVE Hot and Spicy Oregano added to my tomato bread mix. BUT… you will lose the really spicy flavour in the cooking. You will however retain a pleasant ‘warmth’.
Add it to Moules Mariniere
I add Oregano Country Crème to potato gratin. Marjoram (try Golden Marjoram) to carrot soup. Add any of the herbs to lamb.
If you like it raw, try Greek Oregano to the top of a mozzarella and tomato salad – be prepared for a VERY strong flavour though!
So – don’t just refer to Oregano or Marjoram. A wealth of flavours between both. Choose yours. Have a great time experimenting!