Oregano, Mexican Whole
1 lb bag $9.30
How dull the world would be without herbal diversity! We are blessed, for example, with several varieties of oregano. Mexican oregano certainly shares common ground with the more familiar Mediterranean herb and can serve as a substitute for the Mediterranean version, with less needed for any given recipe. In both cases, it is the leaves – dried or fresh – that flavor food. In both cases, cooking enhances the flavor, which is why oregano intended for uncooked dishes (like guacamole or gazpacho) should be warmed before blending. But the two cousins also have clear differences. The Mexican version is stronger, more pungent, and features some citrusy notes missing from the Mediterranean herb. In addition, it has a somewhat sweet, minty undertone.
That’s ironic because Mexican oregano, unlike the Greek or Italian version, isn’t even in the mint family. It’s a member of the related verbena family. Like other verbenas, Mexican oregano is an attractive, slightly shrubby plant for a sunny garden, with small, aromatic white flowers and a pleasing mounded shape. Native to central Mexico, as well as neighboring Guatemala, it is becoming naturalized in the southwestern United States, because of increasing popularity among foodies. Its citrusy pungency brings out the flavor of indigenous Mexican food and will not blanch under the heat of adobo sauce or other spicy chili dishes. At the same time, it also pairs well with blander fare like avocados and cheese, by lending them a subtle piquancy.
Like its Mediterranean cousin, Mexican oregano has naturopathic applications, especially as a remedy for respiratory congestion. For centuries, Mexicans have steeped the leaves to make a traditional “country tea” to treat colds and regulate menstrual cycles.
Mount Hope Wholesale welcomes both bulk buyers and individual shoppers. Our dried Mexican oregano leaves are available in one pound bags.