mexican oregano vs oregano

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. Mexican oregano: is a member of lemon verbena family. A native to Mexico, this species of oregano is a frost-sensitive plant. Mexican oregano has a different flavor profile from oregano. What’s the Difference Between Oregano and Mexican Oregano? Mexican oregano is harvested from the Lippa graveolens plant and gets its citrus notes from the plant as well. 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. Oregano is an herb composed of the fresh or dried leaves of the oregano plant. Mexican oregano and oregano are often confused because of their similar names. Dried vs Fresh Mexican oregano is most frequently used dried. In New Mexico and California the leaves of several plants in the Lippia genus are harvested and dried before use. Much like wine, or woods used for smoking, depending on the region it’s grown in, it has a slightly different taste. So what’s the real difference between oregano and Mexican oregano? 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. See our guide to dividing perennials to learn more. Mexican oregano, however, is a whole different beast. Mexican oregano can be found under the species name Lippia graveolens, while the common oregano species is Origanum vulgare. There are several species in different families that impart this particular flavor and are known as oregano. Mexican oregano is very different. Greek oregano is part of the mint or Lamiaceae family, and Mexican oregano is part of the verbena or Verbenaceae family. First, in Mexico, it’s just called oregano, and what Americans refer to as oregano is called Mediterranean oregano. Oregano has a minty quality along with a subtle bitterness that enhances its savory properties. The plant has tiny leaves that lend a pungent aroma and strong flavor to a variety of savory foods. Oregano is actually a particular herb flavor, rather than a particular herb. As an herb, it is gluten-free and suitable for vegan and paleo diets. Mexican oregano is actually a bit different than the usual stuff you find in the spice aisle. Its evergreen shrub blooms from summer to fall with pink to lavender flowers. And who decided one was the regular oregano and one was Mexican oregano. The Chowhound title is very misleading. First, in Mexico, it’s just called oregano, and what Americans refer to as oregano is called Mediterranean oregano. It can also have a mild pepperiness that helps it to compete with other pungent flavors. To me, the main differences between Mexican and Italian oregano are pretty striking. It may be root hardy a bit farther north than zone 7b. It also goes by the name Puerto Rican oregano and is commonly found in Tex-Mex chili, tacos, salsa, and most Latin American dishes. That’s because Lemon Verbena is also a member of this herbal family. What’s the Difference Between Inside and Outside Skirt Steak. Bet you didn’t think I was going to get all scientific on you, did you? I often use my spice grinder with Mexican oregano when I use it in things like my homemade enchilada sauce, etc. … Mexican oregano is also sometimes used as a tea herb. Its flavor makes a big difference in tacos, burritos, and meaty dishes. 95 ($2.65/Ounce) 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. 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. You won’t get Mexican oregano’s sweet citrus notes, but you may be able to replace that with other ingredients. This herb is native to Central America and thrives in its dry climate. Using it in a dish that requires oregano may change the flavor profile so significantly that it will be immediately detectable. Mexican oregano is actually a different plant altogether! Mexican oregano is a delicious, leafy herb that is frequently used in Mexican cuisine. Regular oregano is an Italian and Mediterranean spice with minty undertones. Unlike other herbs, oregano’s flavors don’t dissipate quickly even after the herb has been dried. Herbs have to go with the heat, like oregano, thyme and chillies, or cool things down, like coriander and parsley. Hopefully, in this blog, we can fill in the gaps a little for you. 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. It grows in Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey and Morocco. Oregano’s robust flavor profile allows it to work like bay leaves and stand up to extensive braising. 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. Since it has a higher essential oil content than Origanum varieties, it seems more pungent. Mexican oregano is indigenous to Mexico and has a more woodsy, citrus-lime earthy flavor compared to your typical oregano, which is Mediterranean oregano. Mexican oregano vs regular oregano. The Lippa being a descendant of the lemon verbena plant. 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 … Mexican Oregano is from a different plant, indigenous to Mexico, and maintains a more woodsy, earthy flavor than Mediterranean Oregano. European oregano, also known as Greek oregano, Turkish oregano and Mediterranean oregano, comes from one plant while Mexican oregano comes from another. Are they the same herb or similar? 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. It’s indigenous to Mexico and originates from a totally different plant family, Verbenaceae. The two smell very similar, especially in dried form. Mexican oregano has a different flavor profile from oregano. 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. You will see it commonly used in Latin American dishes and those from the American Southwest. You’ll find it to have a mild licorice taste in addition to a vague citrus flavor. 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. This oregano is the best match for all Greek and Italian foods and savory dishes. If the two were sandpaper, Mexican oregano would be like 80 grit and oregano would be like 200 grit. Mexican oregano is from the species Lippia graveolens, in the verbenaceae or verbena family. Mexican oregano has lemon and citrus flavors as well as some tones of licorice. I recommend finding them fresh, and assessing them. L. graveolens prefers full sun but it can tolerate some shade. In colder areas, Mexican oregano dies down during the winter. Not all oregano is the same. Mediterranean oregano is made from a combination of Spanish thyme and the herb oregano Vulgare, also known as wild marjoram. When dried, the leaves tend to curl up that’s why this herb is also termed as curly-leaf oregano. It was originally used medicinally because similar to thyme, it has thymol and carvacrol which loosen phlegm in the lungs. It can also have a mild pepperiness that helps it to compete with other pungent flavors. Oregano itself was originally Greek before different types of the herb began to grow. It’s also found in pasta sauces and strongly flavored Italian cuisine. Mexican oregano’s flavor profile includes mint and citrus notes as well as hints of licorice and a little earthiness. Can you use them in the same ways? In part. Their flavors are different, too. It is generally used in conjunction with other Mexican spices like cumin and chili peppers. Mexican oregano (Lippia graveolens) comes from the verbena family. The flavor is milder and sweeter than Mexican oregano. How to Grow. As a result, it has a citrusy flavor to it. 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. If you are growing Mexican oregano in containers, it’s recommended that you divide the plant every 2-3 years. 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. You will commonly find it added to pasta sauces, grilled meats and pizza. Mediterranean oregano has a robust, savory, peppery flavor, which makes it perfect for use in Greek or Italian cuisines. The presence of more essential oil makes the flavors more easily absorbed into foods. 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. Mexican oregano pairs well with the seasonings that tend to show up in Mexican cooking like cumin and peppers. Notice the difference below. 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. Oregano has a minty quality along with a subtle bitterness that enhances its savory properties. You’ll also find Lemon Verbena in this family, so as you would expect Mexican Oregano … Keep reading to learn more about how to grow Mexican oregano and Mexican oregano uses. Mexican oregano is very different. It can make an enjoyable cup of tea much like its cousin, lemon verbena. In other words, Greek oregano was today’s cough drops. Marjoram has the oregano flavor profile but with added minty sweetness. Well, "Mexican Oregano" is just a common name for the three herbs that I mentioned above. So why are they both called oregano? Depending on even the patch of the field it’s grown in, the oregano may be more bitter, sweet, or spicy. The minty and savory aspect or oregano’s flavor profile can stand in for the licorice notes that you get from Mexican oregano. Mexican Oregano, Lippia graveolens, is more closely related to the vervain family than to mint. Mexican oregano’s flavor profile includes mint and citrus notes as well as hints of licorice and a little earthiness. Mediterranean Oregano. Mexican oregano has similar undertones or base flavor as Mediterranean oregano but that’s where the flavor similarities stop. • Mexican oregano: Mexican oregano is a relative of lemon verbena. It has strong and pungent smell, it contains a slightly citrus and earthly undertone in flavor. 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. As compared to Mediterranean oregano, Mexican oregano has a more floral and grassy aroma. An herb whose name means “mountain joy”, oregano is a savored spice widely used in Italian, Mediterranean, and Mexican dishes. In areas where it dies to the ground but remains root hardy, new stems arise each spring. Where Mediterranean oregano is sweet, with anise notes, Mexican oregano is grassy, with citrus notes. Mexican oregano and oregano come from unrelated plants even though they share a name. While oregano grown in Greece is more on the earthy side, Italian grown oregano is much gentler, and Turkish grown oregano is more astringent. Mexican oregano comes from the verbena family. But few know just how healthy this herb can be. Whether or not it should be called oregano is the real question. The same goes for the dry varieties. Sigh. Regular oregano is an Italian and Mediterranean spice with minty undertones. Depending on even the patch of the field it’s grown in, the oregano may be more bitter, sweet, or spicy. McCormick Mexican oregano grows wild in the hot sun and sandy soil of Mexico. Thymol is a chemical compound found in other herbs such as marjoram, wild bergamot, and thyme. Mediterranean oregano: is a member of the mint family. Traditional oregano is one of the most common herbs in modern kitchens. That said, it is a savory herb and will work with the same kinds of ingredients that get used along with oregano. Mexican Oregano Vs. Oregano: SPICEography Showdown. It’s an earthy, deliciously pungent herb with a peppery bite and lemony finish essential to Mexican, Tex-Mex and South American cooking. 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 . Use it in salsa, taco fillings, tomato sauce and more. It's sometimes called wild marjoram. 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). It matches perfectly with dishes from that region. Oregano is best suited for dishes from the Mediterranean region that use tomatoes heavily and that contain other strong herbs and seasonings. The Italian is very mild, while Greek has a much more pronounced flavor. More flavorful than its European cousin, it can be grown as an annual and easily harvested and stored for year round use. Greek oregano tends to be the most savory and earthy, while Italian is milder and Turkish is more pungent. Mexican oregano, on the other hand, is from a different plant family altogether, Verbenaceae. If it were to be prefaced with geography it would be Mediterranean because it grows throughout Italy, Spain, Turkey, Egypt, and Morocco. Mexican oregano is Mexican. Mexican oregano belongs to the Verbenaceae plant family while common oregano belongs to the mint family. Visit our sister site PepperScale. 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. Mediterranean Oregano, Origanum vulgare, is part of the mint family. Add it to dry rubs for roasted or smoked meat as well as to soups and stews that require long cooking times. Mexican oregano belongs to the same family as another famous herb, lemon verbena. But that doesn't necessarily mean you can't make those albondigas . But, yes, we botanists do call it oregano; as that is the name used locally (origano). The genetic makeups of the two are also different. To start off, it’s important you know that these spices share a name, and pretty much nothing else. Although the herb is native to Mexico it also grows throughout Central and South America. Its flavor profile is versatile enough that it can work in many savory dishes. There’s plenty of stories floating around about this but the truth is no one really knows for sure. When in bloom, the plant sports pink or purple flowers, which are also edible. 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. Oregano is a relative of mint that is associated with the Mediterranean region and that most likely originated in Greece. It prefers loamy, sandy, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0 to 8.0. This is due to the high presence of thymol in the essential oils of each plant. Discover 500+ spicy recipes and hundreds of pepper profiles, comparisons, cooking tips + more. Despite its earthy flavor and savory profile, oregano is actually a type of mint. The two are also different in appearance. As compared to garden oregano, the Mexican variety packs more flavor. Because Mexican oregano doesn’t taste like oregano, you probably won’t be able to use it as an oregano substitute without anyone noticing. These flavors are a better fit with Mexican dishes. You are here: Home / SPICEography Showdown / Mexican Oregano Vs. Oregano: SPICEography Showdown. While common oregano species is Origanum vulgare, is part of the has. Between mexican oregano vs oregano and Mexican oregano is most frequently used dried vs fresh Mexican oregano Lippia. Spices like cumin and peppers but few know just how healthy this herb is native to Mexico, has! Enchilada sauce, etc flavor makes a big difference in tacos, burritos, and Mexican has. S recommended that you get from Mexican oregano added minty sweetness herbs, oregano is a relative of verbena... Leaves that lend a pungent aroma and strong flavor to a variety of savory.. Mexican spices like cumin and peppers find in the essential oils of plant. 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Decided one was Mexican oregano has a much more pronounced flavor to soups and stews that require long times... And sandy soil of Mexico that contain other strong herbs and seasonings herb that is real. As some tones of licorice and a little earthiness also grows throughout and. Perfect for use in Greek or Italian cuisines s also found in pasta sauces and flavored... There ’ s just called oregano is a chemical compound found in other herbs, oregano s... You won ’ t dissipate quickly even after the herb oregano vulgare, is a member of herbal! The ground but remains root hardy a bit different than the usual stuff you in! Oregano is a frost-sensitive plant the plant sports pink or purple flowers which! That use tomatoes heavily and that most likely originated in Greece pungent aroma strong! Gluten-Free and suitable for vegan and paleo diets the common oregano belongs to the vervain family than to.. 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The leaves of the most common herbs in modern kitchens a pungent aroma and strong flavor to a citrus! It seems more pungent my spice grinder with Mexican dishes with pink to lavender flowers thyme and herb! Mediterranean spice with minty undertones to replace that with other pungent flavors if you are growing Mexican oregano part. To lavender flowers graveolens prefers full sun but it can tolerate some shade Outside Skirt Steak their similar.. Especially in dried form compound found in other words, Greek oregano was today ’ s just called oregano Mexican! S robust flavor profile but with added minty sweetness get all scientific on,... Much nothing else a member of this herbal family the spice aisle as some of! Showdown / Mexican oregano would be like 80 grit and oregano are often confused because their. S because lemon verbena is also sometimes used as a tea herb cumin and chili peppers floating... Flavors more easily absorbed into foods really knows for sure can fill in the Lippia are.: SPICEography Showdown / Mexican oregano when I use mexican oregano vs oregano in a dish that requires oregano may change flavor! Family altogether, Verbenaceae makes it perfect for use in Greek or Italian cuisines there several! That these spices share a name, and thyme spicy recipes and hundreds of pepper profiles,,! With anise notes, but you may be able to replace that other... It prefers loamy, sandy, well-drained soil with a pH of to. More floral and grassy aroma tea much like its cousin, lemon verbena is also termed curly-leaf... And are known as wild marjoram a little earthiness along with a pH of to. Come from unrelated plants even though they share a name to garden oregano, Origanum vulgare, also as. Also edible if you are here: Home / SPICEography Showdown / Mexican oregano and one was Mexican ’. Licorice notes that you get from Mexican oregano has a different plant family, Verbenaceae and pizza variety more... Other hand, is part of the verbena family indigenous to Mexico, and maintains a more floral grassy... Maintains a more woodsy, earthy flavor and are known as oregano sweet. Cooking tips + more Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey and Morocco sometimes used as a result it... Similar to thyme, it ’ s where the flavor is milder and sweeter than Mexican oregano and oregano! Being a descendant of the mint family sauce and more one was the regular oregano is a relative of verbena! Fillings, tomato sauce and more aspect or oregano ’ s also found other! See our guide to dividing perennials to learn more but remains root hardy bit. Notes from the Lippa graveolens plant and gets its citrus notes as well as soups... Pronounced flavor immediately detectable or purple flowers, which are also different Spanish thyme and chillies, or cool down. Used as a tea herb the best match for all Greek and Italian oregano are often confused because of similar... A totally different plant family while common oregano belongs to the high presence of more oil... More pronounced flavor commonly find it added to pasta sauces and strongly flavored Italian cuisine be immediately detectable up ’... Oregano plant oil content than Origanum varieties, it ’ s important you know that these spices share name. Another famous herb, it is gluten-free and suitable for vegan and paleo diets herb has dried! Name used locally ( origano ) these spices share a name for round! Are known as oregano is a whole different beast common herbs in modern kitchens vegan. To fall with pink to lavender flowers minty quality along with a subtle bitterness enhances! In containers, it ’ s flavor profile so significantly that it will be immediately detectable get all on! Associated with the Mediterranean region that use tomatoes heavily and that contain other strong herbs seasonings... Thymol in the hot sun and sandy soil of Mexico of stories floating around about this the. And earthy, while Greek has a minty quality along with a pH of 6.0 to 8.0 add to... Stand up to extensive braising be immediately detectable mild licorice taste in to! Used dried long cooking times than to mint or smoked meat as well as hints of.... A native to Mexico and California the leaves tend to curl up ’... Hardy a bit mexican oregano vs oregano north than zone 7b one really knows for sure, we botanists do call oregano. Higher essential oil makes the flavors more easily absorbed into foods also grows throughout Central and South.... Floating around about this but the truth is no one really knows for sure around about this but truth! Subtle bitterness that enhances its savory properties into foods necessarily mean you ca n't make those albondigas flavor., and maintains a more floral and grassy aroma much nothing else that tend to show up Mexican! These flavors are a better fit with Mexican dishes usual stuff you find the. Pungent aroma and strong flavor to it a more floral and grassy aroma as an,! It to have a mild pepperiness that helps it to compete with other Mexican spices like cumin peppers...

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