You always keep it in the kitchen and probably use it several times a week. Oregano is among the most popularly used spices and is a key ingredient the Italian kitchen in particular. However, oregano is actually not just oregano. Two types of the famous pizza spice exist, one of which originates from the Mediterranean Sea and the other from Mexico. And while they look almost similar, the taste is totally different.
Mediterranean vs Mexican oregano
Mediterranean oregano comes from a plant called origanum vulgare, originally found in the Mediterranean countries. It bears the pungent and peppery taste with soft notes of anise that we know in Europe. It works great with everything from pasta and pizza to lamb, fish and Greek salads. Needless to say, it is undoubtedly the most popular of the two, and today, it is used all over Europe and the US.
The Mexican oregano originates from Central and South America. Despite having the same pungent taste as regular oregano, it also bears soft notes of citrus and mild liquorice. The strong taste goes great with ground cumin, chili, pinto beans and chorizo, making it a great match for the Mexican kitchen and certain Cuban and Puerto Rican dishes.
Find them here
If you are looking to try out the Mexican oregano, you should look either online or in a Latin American grocery store, where you can often find it in dried form.
The classic oregano, on the other hand, you will find in both dried and fresh form in most supermarkets. Even though dried oregano works great in most dishes, the best experience is always achieved with fresh herbs. The plant contains some of the same fragrant oils as thyme, and the aroma and taste of fresh oregano therefore makes for a very special experience in the kitchen. Try it in the tomato sauce, a nice and juicy beef or as green topping on steamed carrots with lemon juice.