Origanum vulgare, Oregano
Oregano grows wild in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, these days it's widely cultivated around the world although it does grow better in a warmer climate.
The precise origin of Oregano as a culinary herb is somewhat obscure these days, with the plant having been commonly confused with Marjoram and the name 'oregano' being used to describe anything with a similar taste with scant regard for taxonomy. However it's clear that it was an important flavour for the ancient Greeks, they even believed that cattle reared on fields where Oregano grew produced a better tasting meat.
With it's strong, distinctive flavour which is aromatic and slightly bitter Oregano is widely used today, with the fact that it has good flavour when dried greatly adding to it's conveniance.
Perhaps the best known use of Oregano these days is in Italian-American cuisine. The story goes that when American GI's returned from Italy after World War II they brought back with them a penchant for one of the flavours that they had become accustomed to while on service. While Oregano is widely used in Italian cookery it was it was ability to blend with tomato which struck a chord, and back in the US the pizza rapidly became the popular and ubiquitous standby that we know an love today. Even those of us who don't know our herbs will be familiar with 'pizza flavour'.
In Turkey Oregano is used as a both as a flavouring for meats and as a table condiment along with salt and pepper, while in Greece the dried, powdered leaf is used to add flavour to salads. In the Philipinnes it has a special function, to reduce the unappreciated odours produced when water buffalo meat is boiled.
If you thought the confusion about names mentioned earlier is a thing of the past, then be aware that there's one more twist to the story. In the US the name 'Oregano' is often used to describe Lippia graveolens, a plant more closely related to Lemon Verbena. This 'Mexican Oregano' has a flavour not unlike the regular Oregano that originated in the Mediterranean, but with more of a lemony note to it.
While such confusion about the name of a herb isn't intended to deceive be aware that what's called Oregano may not be Oregano at all. Recently there have been a number of cases of adulteration with myrtle or olive leaves, with examples of this subterfuge even being found on supermarket shelves. Rest assured though, at Camstar our Technical Department checks each consigment on arrival, and anything that wasn't the pure herb would be rejected right away.
Here at Camstar we're always exploring new, and old, flavours. Whatever you're looking for don't forget to Contact Us.
|Martin Hoxworth - Group Sales Manager: martincamstar.co.uk|
|CP48OR||Oregano South American||10Kg|
|CP49OR||Oregano Ground HT||25Kg|
|CP51OR||Oregano Turkish HT||10Kg|