Mexican oregano has a different flavor profile from oregano. 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. The same goes for the dry varieties. Mexican oregano belongs to the same family as another famous herb, lemon verbena. These flavors are a better fit with Mexican dishes. Mexican oregano is Mexican. You will commonly find it added to pasta sauces, grilled meats and pizza. To me, the main differences between Mexican and Italian oregano are pretty striking. Mexican Oregano is from a different plant, indigenous to Mexico, and maintains a more woodsy, earthy flavor than Mediterranean Oregano. Mexican oregano (Lippia graveolens) comes from the verbena family. Hopefully, in this blog, we can fill in the gaps a little for you. The two are also different in appearance. Mexican oregano, however, is a whole different beast. Mexican oregano is actually a different plant altogether! Oregano has a minty quality along with a subtle bitterness that enhances its savory properties. Since it has a higher essential oil content than Origanum varieties, it seems more pungent. If the two were sandpaper, Mexican oregano would be like 80 grit and oregano would be like 200 grit. But, yes, we botanists do call it oregano; as that is the name used locally (origano). 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. To start off, it’s important you know that these spices share a name, and pretty much nothing else. Mexican oregano pairs well with the seasonings that tend to show up in Mexican cooking like cumin and peppers. But few know just how healthy this herb can be. An herb whose name means “mountain joy”, oregano is a savored spice widely used in Italian, Mediterranean, and Mexican dishes. Despite its earthy flavor and savory profile, oregano is actually a type of mint. 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. If it were to be prefaced with geography it would be Mediterranean because it grows throughout Italy, Spain, Turkey, Egypt, and Morocco. You’ll also find Lemon Verbena in this family, so as you would expect Mexican Oregano … Its flavor makes a big difference in tacos, burritos, and meaty dishes. 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 … As a result, it has a citrusy flavor to it. 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. 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. 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: Mexican oregano is a relative of lemon verbena. But that doesn't necessarily mean you can't make those albondigas . Use it in salsa, taco fillings, tomato sauce and more. Oregano is best suited for dishes from the Mediterranean region that use tomatoes heavily and that contain other strong herbs and seasonings. Add it to dry rubs for roasted or smoked meat as well as to soups and stews that require long cooking times. It's sometimes called wild marjoram. Oregano is actually a particular herb flavor, rather than a particular herb. Can you use them in the same ways? You’ll find it to have a mild licorice taste in addition to a vague citrus flavor. 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. Their flavors are different, too. Greek oregano tends to be the most savory and earthy, while Italian is milder and Turkish is more pungent. There’s plenty of stories floating around about this but the truth is no one really knows for sure. The two smell very similar, especially in dried form. So what’s the real difference between oregano and Mexican oregano? 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. 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 is from the species Lippia graveolens, in the verbenaceae or verbena family. 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. Bet you didn’t think I was going to get all scientific on you, did you? Mexican oregano can be found under the species name Lippia graveolens, while the common oregano species is Origanum vulgare. 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). First, in Mexico, it’s just called oregano, and what Americans refer to as oregano is called Mediterranean oregano. Its flavor profile is versatile enough that it can work in many savory dishes. The flavor is milder and sweeter than Mexican oregano. L. graveolens prefers full sun but it can tolerate some shade. It prefers loamy, sandy, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0 to 8.0. The presence of more essential oil makes the flavors more easily absorbed into foods. Greek oregano is part of the mint or Lamiaceae family, and Mexican oregano is part of the verbena or Verbenaceae family. Mediterranean oregano is made from a combination of Spanish thyme and the herb oregano Vulgare, also known as wild marjoram. 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. As compared to Mediterranean oregano, Mexican oregano has a more floral and grassy aroma. Well, "Mexican Oregano" is just a common name for the three herbs that I mentioned above. Mexican oregano has a different flavor profile from oregano. You will see it commonly used in Latin American dishes and those from the American Southwest. Herbs have to go with the heat, like oregano, thyme and chillies, or cool things down, like coriander and parsley. Oregano’s robust flavor profile allows it to work like bay leaves and stand up to extensive braising. Are they the same herb or similar? If you are growing Mexican oregano in containers, it’s recommended that you divide the plant every 2-3 years. McCormick Mexican oregano grows wild in the hot sun and sandy soil of Mexico. Depending on even the patch of the field it’s grown in, the oregano may be more bitter, sweet, or spicy. In other words, Greek oregano was today’s cough drops. … It may be root hardy a bit farther north than zone 7b. Using it in a dish that requires oregano may change the flavor profile so significantly that it will be immediately detectable. The minty and savory aspect or oregano’s flavor profile can stand in for the licorice notes that you get from Mexican oregano. It’s an earthy, deliciously pungent herb with a peppery bite and lemony finish essential to Mexican, Tex-Mex and South American cooking. It was originally used medicinally because similar to thyme, it has thymol and carvacrol which loosen phlegm in the lungs. 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. In part. Because Mexican oregano doesn’t taste like oregano, you probably won’t be able to use it as an oregano substitute without anyone noticing. The Italian is very mild, while Greek has a much more pronounced flavor. 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. Visit our sister site PepperScale. Depending on even the patch of the field it’s grown in, the oregano may be more bitter, sweet, or spicy. As compared to garden oregano, the Mexican variety packs more flavor. Oregano itself was originally Greek before different types of the herb began to grow. Much like wine, or woods used for smoking, depending on the region it’s grown in, it has a slightly different taste. As an herb, it is gluten-free and suitable for vegan and paleo diets. Mexican oregano belongs to the Verbenaceae plant family while common oregano belongs to the mint family. It grows in Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey and Morocco. 95 ($2.65/Ounce) And who decided one was the regular oregano and one was Mexican oregano. It can also have a mild pepperiness that helps it to compete with other pungent flavors. The Chowhound title is very misleading. This is due to the high presence of thymol in the essential oils of each plant. Traditional oregano is one of the most common herbs in modern kitchens. Keep reading to learn more about how to grow Mexican oregano and Mexican oregano uses. 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. This herb is native to Central America and thrives in its dry climate. I often use my spice grinder with Mexican oregano when I use it in things like my homemade enchilada sauce, etc. First, in Mexico, it’s just called oregano, and what Americans refer to as oregano is called Mediterranean oregano. Unlike other herbs, oregano’s flavors don’t dissipate quickly even after the herb has been dried. In colder areas, Mexican oregano dies down during the winter. Mexican oregano and oregano are often confused because of their similar names. More flavorful than its European cousin, it can be grown as an annual and easily harvested and stored for year round use. 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. Mediterranean Oregano. Regular oregano is an Italian and Mediterranean spice with minty undertones. The Lippa being a descendant of the lemon verbena plant. Where Mediterranean oregano is sweet, with anise notes, Mexican oregano is grassy, with citrus notes. Mexican oregano is indigenous to Mexico and has a more woodsy, citrus-lime earthy flavor compared to your typical oregano, which is Mediterranean oregano. Although the herb is native to Mexico it also grows throughout Central and South America. 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 won’t get Mexican oregano’s sweet citrus notes, but you may be able to replace that with other ingredients. What’s the Difference Between Oregano and Mexican Oregano? Mediterranean Oregano, Origanum vulgare, is part of the mint family. Mexican oregano vs regular oregano. Mexican oregano comes from the verbena family. Discover 500+ spicy recipes and hundreds of pepper profiles, comparisons, cooking tips + more. Mexican oregano is actually a bit different than the usual stuff you find in the spice aisle. Mexican oregano is also sometimes used as a tea herb. Mexican oregano is very different. It is generally used in conjunction with other Mexican spices like cumin and chili peppers. 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. It’s also found in pasta sauces and strongly flavored Italian cuisine. In New Mexico and California the leaves of several plants in the Lippia genus are harvested and dried before use. 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 are here: Home / SPICEography Showdown / Mexican Oregano Vs. Oregano: SPICEography Showdown. It also goes by the name Puerto Rican oregano and is commonly found in Tex-Mex chili, tacos, salsa, and most Latin American dishes. Mexican oregano has lemon and citrus flavors as well as some tones of licorice. A native to Mexico, this species of oregano is a frost-sensitive plant. 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 . 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