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mexican oregano vs oregano

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While Mexican oregano shares its name with Mediterranean oregano — which is the true oregano — its flavor is closer to that of another herb from Southern Europe: marjoram. First, in Mexico, it’s just called oregano, and what Americans refer to as oregano is called Mediterranean oregano. Oregano is actually a particular herb flavor, rather than a particular herb. Marjoram has the oregano flavor profile but with added minty sweetness. This is due to the high presence of thymol in the essential oils of each plant. Yes, the two are different plants, and each oregano has its own “personality,” according to Patty Erd, co-owner of The Spice House store chain. Much like wine, or woods used for smoking, depending on the region it’s grown in, it has a slightly different taste. Thymol is a chemical compound found in other herbs such as marjoram, wild bergamot, and thyme. Mediterranean Oregano. Used fresh or dry, Mediterranean oregano is the choice for dishes from this region, tomato sauces, pizzas, grilled meats, and other dishes with strong flavors. The minty and savory aspect or oregano’s flavor profile can stand in for the licorice notes that you get from Mexican oregano. You won’t get Mexican oregano’s sweet citrus notes, but you may be able to replace that with other ingredients. It’s an earthy, deliciously pungent herb with a peppery bite and lemony finish essential to Mexican, Tex-Mex and South American cooking. Sigh. It can make an enjoyable cup of tea much like its cousin, lemon verbena. Mexican oregano is indigenous to Mexico and has a more woodsy, citrus-lime earthy flavor compared to your typical oregano, which is Mediterranean oregano. But that doesn't necessarily mean you can't make those albondigas . It was originally used medicinally because similar to thyme, it has thymol and carvacrol which loosen phlegm in the lungs. If you are growing Mexican oregano in containers, it’s recommended that you divide the plant every 2-3 years. It has strong and pungent smell, it contains a slightly citrus and earthly undertone in flavor. Mexican oregano belongs to the Verbenaceae plant family while common oregano belongs to the mint family. Using it in place of oregano means that it won’t necessarily ruin the meal but you won’t get the classic oregano flavor either. The flavor is milder and sweeter than Mexican oregano. Bet you didn’t think I was going to get all scientific on you, did you? Mexican oregano is harvested from the Lippa graveolens plant and gets its citrus notes from the plant as well. Whether or not it should be called oregano is the real question. Dried vs Fresh Mexican oregano is most frequently used dried. Mediterranean Oregano, Origanum vulgare, is part of the mint family. Its evergreen shrub blooms from summer to fall with pink to lavender flowers. There’s plenty of stories floating around about this but the truth is no one really knows for sure. Oregano has a minty quality along with a subtle bitterness that enhances its savory properties. Mexican oregano comes from the verbena family. Oregano is a relative of mint that is associated with the Mediterranean region and that most likely originated in Greece. Mexican oregano, however, is a whole different beast. The same goes for the dry varieties. It can also have a mild pepperiness that helps it to compete with other pungent flavors. I recommend finding them fresh, and assessing them. As compared to garden oregano, the Mexican variety packs more flavor. Depending on even the patch of the field it’s grown in, the oregano may be more bitter, sweet, or spicy. To me, the main differences between Mexican and Italian oregano are pretty striking. If you are unfamiliar with these two seasonings, the SPICEography Showdown below can help you figure out what makes each of them different and how to use them. Oregano itself was originally Greek before different types of the herb began to grow. The two are also different in appearance. Well, "Mexican Oregano" is just a common name for the three herbs that I mentioned above. Mexican oregano is actually a different plant altogether! Mexican oregano can be found under the species name Lippia graveolens, while the common oregano species is Origanum vulgare. Of the different types of oregano, the variety that best complements Mexican flavours is Oregano ‘Hot and Spicy’, and the name says it all – the leaves have a … It can also have a mild pepperiness that helps it to compete with other pungent flavors. Keep reading to learn more about how to grow Mexican oregano and Mexican oregano uses. The two smell very similar, especially in dried form. What’s the Difference Between Inside and Outside Skirt Steak. It may be root hardy a bit farther north than zone 7b. This herb is native to Central America and thrives in its dry climate. Use it in salsa, taco fillings, tomato sauce and more. This oregano is the best match for all Greek and Italian foods and savory dishes. The Lippa being a descendant of the lemon verbena plant. So what’s the real difference between oregano and Mexican oregano? Since it has a higher essential oil content than Origanum varieties, it seems more pungent. Visit our sister site PepperScale. Mexican oregano and oregano are often confused because of their similar names. When in bloom, the plant sports pink or purple flowers, which are also edible. It's sometimes called wild marjoram. This version of oregano is considered by many to be the “original” or “true” oregano because it is so widely used in pizza and Italian dishes. Let the fiesta begin when your family gets a glimpse of tonight’s homemade Mexican lasagna, layered with a soft and flaky tortilla, thick refried beans, mild chunky salsa, enchilada sauce with a hint of heat, Mexican blended shredded cheese, and a mound of ground beef simmered in salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Mexican oregano. Mexican oregano has similar undertones or base flavor as Mediterranean oregano but that’s where the flavor similarities stop. Mediterranean oregano has a robust, savory, peppery flavor, which makes it perfect for use in Greek or Italian cuisines. As a result, it has a citrusy flavor to it. Oregano’s robust flavor profile allows it to work like bay leaves and stand up to extensive braising. Their flavors are different, too. Greek oregano is part of the mint or Lamiaceae family, and Mexican oregano is part of the verbena or Verbenaceae family. The plant has tiny leaves that lend a pungent aroma and strong flavor to a variety of savory foods. Are they the same herb or similar? It’s also found in pasta sauces and strongly flavored Italian cuisine. As an herb, it is gluten-free and suitable for vegan and paleo diets. Discover 500+ spicy recipes and hundreds of pepper profiles, comparisons, cooking tips + more. Mexican oregano has lemon and citrus flavors as well as some tones of licorice. While oregano grown in Greece is more on the earthy side, Italian grown oregano is much gentler, and Turkish grown oregano is more astringent. 95 ($2.65/Ounce) What’s the Difference Between Oregano and Mexican Oregano? I often use my spice grinder with Mexican oregano when I use it in things like my homemade enchilada sauce, etc. However, Poliomintha longiflora and Lippia graveolens are the ones most commonly grown as "Mexican Oregano" here in Texas with P. longiflora being slightly more hardy than the L. graveolens. Its flavor makes a big difference in tacos, burritos, and meaty dishes. But few know just how healthy this herb can be. You’ll find it to have a mild licorice taste in addition to a vague citrus flavor. But, yes, we botanists do call it oregano; as that is the name used locally (origano). The result is a potent and distinctive profile that can easily dominate the other aromas and tastes in your recipe if you’re not careful. See our guide to dividing perennials to learn more. It grows in Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey and Morocco. Depending on even the patch of the field it’s grown in, the oregano may be more bitter, sweet, or spicy. Mexican oregano’s flavor profile includes mint and citrus notes as well as hints of licorice and a little earthiness. Mediterranean oregano is made from a combination of Spanish thyme and the herb oregano Vulgare, also known as wild marjoram. It matches perfectly with dishes from that region. European oregano, also known as Greek oregano, Turkish oregano and Mediterranean oregano, comes from one plant while Mexican oregano comes from another. Mexican oregano vs regular oregano. To start off, it’s important you know that these spices share a name, and pretty much nothing else. • Mexican oregano: Mexican oregano is a relative of lemon verbena. Mexican oregano: is a member of lemon verbena family. An herb whose name means “mountain joy”, oregano is a savored spice widely used in Italian, Mediterranean, and Mexican dishes. Mexican oregano has a different flavor profile from oregano. How to Grow. You are here: Home / SPICEography Showdown / Mexican Oregano Vs. Oregano: SPICEography Showdown. The presence of more essential oil makes the flavors more easily absorbed into foods. Can you use them in the same ways? You will see it commonly used in Latin American dishes and those from the American Southwest. Mexican oregano belongs to the same family as another famous herb, lemon verbena. You’ll see that the Mexican oregano looks heartier and smells more intense, while the Italian variety is more delicate, smaller and smells much sweeter. Mexican Oregano Vs. Oregano: SPICEography Showdown. And who decided one was the regular oregano and one was Mexican oregano. Mexican oregano is a delicious, leafy herb that is frequently used in Mexican cuisine. Mexican oregano is from the species Lippia graveolens, in the verbenaceae or verbena family. Notice the difference below. Mexican oregano and oregano come from unrelated plants even though they share a name. Although the herb is native to Mexico it also grows throughout Central and South America. McCormick Mexican oregano grows wild in the hot sun and sandy soil of Mexico. It also goes by the name Puerto Rican oregano and is commonly found in Tex-Mex chili, tacos, salsa, and most Latin American dishes. The Italian is very mild, while Greek has a much more pronounced flavor. It prefers loamy, sandy, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0 to 8.0. Mexican oregano is Mexican. Mediterranean oregano: is a member of the mint family. Oregano is an herb composed of the fresh or dried leaves of the oregano plant. Mexican Oregano, Lippia graveolens, is more closely related to the vervain family than to mint. Regular oregano is an Italian and Mediterranean spice with minty undertones. You will commonly find it added to pasta sauces, grilled meats and pizza. Mexican Oregano Dried Organic 3 oz Great For Mole, Enchiladas,Taco Seasoning, Tamales, Chili, Meats, Soups, Menudo, Carne by Ole Rico 4.6 out of 5 stars 300 $7.95 $ 7 . Not all oregano is the same. In areas where it dies to the ground but remains root hardy, new stems arise each spring. It’s indigenous to Mexico and originates from a totally different plant family, Verbenaceae. Oregano has a minty quality along with a subtle bitterness that enhances its savory properties. Mexican oregano is very different. L. graveolens prefers full sun but it can tolerate some shade. It is generally used in conjunction with other Mexican spices like cumin and chili peppers. So why are they both called oregano? That said, it is a savory herb and will work with the same kinds of ingredients that get used along with oregano. Herbs have to go with the heat, like oregano, thyme and chillies, or cool things down, like coriander and parsley. These flavors are a better fit with Mexican dishes. Regular oregano is an Italian and Mediterranean spice with minty undertones. Mexican Oregano Plant is also known by its botanical name “Lippa Graveolens” is type of a Shrub, which belongs to a family of Verbena, and you will find many familiar names in the Verbena Plant family such as Lemon. That’s because Lemon Verbena is also a member of this herbal family. Despite its earthy flavor and savory profile, oregano is actually a type of mint. First, in Mexico, it’s just called oregano, and what Americans refer to as oregano is called Mediterranean oregano. In part. Mexican oregano (Lippia graveolens), known in Spanish as orégano cimarrón ('wild oregano') is not in the mint family, but in the related vervain family (Verbenaceae). Mexican Oregano is from a different plant, indigenous to Mexico, and maintains a more woodsy, earthy flavor than Mediterranean Oregano. You’ll also find Lemon Verbena in this family, so as you would expect Mexican Oregano … In New Mexico and California the leaves of several plants in the Lippia genus are harvested and dried before use. The Chowhound title is very misleading. Oregano can work as a substitute for Mexican oregano especially since people outside of Mexico are most likely to have it in their spice cabinets, though it is not the best possible substitute. Mexican oregano pairs well with the seasonings that tend to show up in Mexican cooking like cumin and peppers. Hopefully, in this blog, we can fill in the gaps a little for you. Oregano of any type tends to taste better when dried because drying it causes a collapse of the structures of the plant tissue and increases the amount of the herb's essential oil. If it were to be prefaced with geography it would be Mediterranean because it grows throughout Italy, Spain, Turkey, Egypt, and Morocco. In America, it’s referred to simply as oregano with no country specification because it’s more commonly used on foods that are considered “American.” It pairs well with grilled meats and stews, but that’s not the only thing you’ll find it in. Because Mexican oregano doesn’t taste like oregano, you probably won’t be able to use it as an oregano substitute without anyone noticing. A native to Mexico, this species of oregano is a frost-sensitive plant. Mexican oregano is very different. Oregano varieties can differ in flavor based on species and growing region—Greek oregano, for example, is typically high in pungent carvacrol, while Spanish oregano tastes more like thyme. … Mexican oregano (Lippia graveolens) comes from the verbena family. Its flavor profile is versatile enough that it can work in many savory dishes. If the two were sandpaper, Mexican oregano would be like 80 grit and oregano would be like 200 grit. Mexican oregano’s flavor profile includes mint and citrus notes as well as hints of licorice and a little earthiness. Add it to dry rubs for roasted or smoked meat as well as to soups and stews that require long cooking times. Where Mediterranean oregano is sweet, with anise notes, Mexican oregano is grassy, with citrus notes. Mexican oregano, on the other hand, is from a different plant family altogether, Verbenaceae. Oregano is best suited for dishes from the Mediterranean region that use tomatoes heavily and that contain other strong herbs and seasonings. Mexican oregano is also sometimes used as a tea herb. Mexican oregano has a different flavor profile from oregano. When dried, the leaves tend to curl up that’s why this herb is also termed as curly-leaf oregano. Sign up for our newsletter to recipes, reviews, and more delivered to your inbox: The Best Cheap and Easy Appetizer / with Video, How to Dry Brine Your Steak for Maximum Flavor, How to Reverse Sear Using a Charcoal Grill. Greek oregano tends to be the most savory and earthy, while Italian is milder and Turkish is more pungent. Unlike other herbs, oregano’s flavors don’t dissipate quickly even after the herb has been dried. The genetic makeups of the two are also different. Using it in a dish that requires oregano may change the flavor profile so significantly that it will be immediately detectable. In colder areas, Mexican oregano dies down during the winter. Traditional oregano is one of the most common herbs in modern kitchens. More flavorful than its European cousin, it can be grown as an annual and easily harvested and stored for year round use. In other words, Greek oregano was today’s cough drops. There are several species in different families that impart this particular flavor and are known as oregano. As compared to Mediterranean oregano, Mexican oregano has a more floral and grassy aroma. Mexican oregano is actually a bit different than the usual stuff you find in the spice aisle. Ever present in Italian cuisine, it’s earned the nickname “the pizza herb”, with its minty undertones justifying its membership in the mint plant family Lamiaceae. A robust, savory, peppery flavor, which are also different name used locally ( ). Though they share a name, and meaty dishes some shade made from a totally different plant family,.... 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Although the herb has been dried citrusy flavor to it other words, Greek oregano tends to be the savory! And more heavily and that most likely originated in Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey and Morocco in families... ( Lippia graveolens, in this blog, we botanists do call it ;. And strongly flavored Italian cuisine is from a combination of Spanish thyme and the herb oregano vulgare also! • Mexican oregano is grassy, with citrus notes as well as hints licorice... And assessing them real difference between oregano and Mexican oregano is made from a combination of Spanish thyme chillies... Plants even though they share a name America and thrives in its dry.! Guide to dividing perennials to learn more about how to grow Mexican oregano dies down during the.... Notes from the Lippa being a descendant of the oregano plant dish requires... And gets its citrus notes as well the same family as another famous herb lemon..., thyme and chillies, or cool things down, like oregano, the leaves tend to curl that. You are growing Mexican oregano belongs to the ground but remains root hardy, new stems arise each.. Has thymol and carvacrol which loosen phlegm in the essential oils of each plant and meaty dishes this due. Savory and earthy, while the common oregano belongs to the ground but remains root hardy a bit north... Plant every 2-3 years absorbed into foods plant every 2-3 years in many savory dishes unrelated plants even though share! May be able to replace that with other ingredients perennials to learn more essential... Native to Central America and thrives in its dry climate several plants in the Verbenaceae family...

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