Herbs & spices are what make a dish exceptional. Without them, things would be dull & flavorless. Does that mean food has to be spicy? Heck no! Just as we’ve talked about rosemary, oregano is a beautiful edition to everything from soup to pizza. But, before we go into some cool things about oregano, let’s first dive into the history of this classic herb.
History of Oregano
The name Oregano is derived from the Greek words oros for “mountain” & ganos for “joy”. Combine the meanings and you get “joy of the mountains”. The ancient Greeks believed that the Goddess Aphrodite gave them this herb. She wanted it to be the symbol of joy growing in her garden. As this herb spread across Europe and Asia, it was also used for medicinal purposes to aid such ailments as rheumatism, toothache, indigestion and coughing fits.
More Than Just A Cooking Herb
To this day, Oregano has been scientifically proven to have health benefits including anti-bacterial & antioxidant properties. If that wasn’t enough, it’s wonderful scent and attractive purple/white/pink blossoms are a perfect addition to a bouquet. If dried, it can even be added as part of sachets or even potpourris. A VERY diverse plant to say the least!
What We Use It For
While oregano may have started its life in warm climates, it does well in colder ones too like Lake Tahoe as an annual. In fact, we’ve been growing it in our herb garden every year. Its rich aroma deepens and melds the flavors in our soups and sauces (like our beef bourguignon) without overwhelming the dishes. And since it’s considered a superfood filled with antioxidants, talk about a great way to make sure you keep happy and healthy throughout the fall and into the winter months.