When my friend brought me a jar of oregano, I got curious about its floral scent. I know about Mediterranean but I don’t know what is Mexican oregano. Since I like to be well learned when it comes to spices and herbs, I try to research more about it online.
Oregano is one of my favorite herbs because of its slightly sweet and bitter flavors. With my new discovery about Mexican oregano, I learned how to differentiate it with other varieties of oregano. To learn more about Mexican oregano, keep reading below.
What Is Mexican Oregano?
As the suggested by its name, Mexican oregano originates from Mexico. Its evergreen shrub blooms from summer to fall with pink to lavender flowers. As compared to garden oregano, the Mexican variety packs more flavor.
When dried, the leaves tend to curl up that’s why this herb is also termed as curly-leaf oregano. As compared to Mediterranean oregano, Mexican oregano has a more floral and grassy aroma. The taste is sweeter, more citrusy, and more anisey, which makes it a perfect pair for chile peppers and cumin.
The Nutritional Value Of Mexican Oregano
Among all the varieties of oregano, the Mexican oregano provides the best source of flavonoids, polyphenolic molecules that are known for their high antioxidant activity. Some of the flavonoids found in this herb are naringenin, cirsimaritin, quercetin, and catechin.
This herb also contains naringenin, a bioflavonoid known to help prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer, and even Alzheimer’s. Naringenin can also help you fight obesity by improving your metabolism. Another flavonoid known as cirsimaritin can help prevent the storage of fat, hence aids in weight loss.
Two other flavonoids found in this herb are quercetin and catechin. Quercetin can fight virus and microbes in your body. According to UCLA’S Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, catechin, along with naringenin, can help cure hepatitis C.
Selecting And Storing Mexican Oregano
As possible, choose fresh Mexican oregano because it has a superior flavor than its dried form counterparts. The color of the leaves should be green and the flowers should be vibrant pink to lavender. The leaves should show no signs of yellowing or dark spots.
If you can’t find some fresh leaves, you can choose the dried form which you can easily buy in supermarkets. You can also try the local spice stores near you because they often provide a larger selection of herbs with superior quality. To ensure safety, choose dried oregano that are organically grown.
You can store your fresh oregano in a slightly damp paper towel in the fridge. To freeze, keep them in airtight containers. Dried oregano should be stored away from direct sunlight and moisture.
Uses Of Mexican Oregano
1. Herbal Tea
The leaves of Mexican oregano can be used to make an herbal tea. This tea is mainly used to treat respiratory tract infections and menstrual flow problems. Other diseases that can be possibly cured by this tea include stomach pains, diarrhea, and colds.
To make this tea, you’ll need 3 cups of boiling water and 1/2 cup fresh oregano leaves or 3 teaspoons dried. In a tea pot, place the leaves in the infuser and steep for about 15 minutes. Watch how to brew a tea in this video here.
2. Culinary Uses
Most chefs prefer to use Mexican oregano because it tastes a bit sweeter and less bitter than other oregano varieties. In Mexico, the dried form of this herb is often mixed with cumin and powdered chilies to make chili powder. It also complements well with tomato-based dishes, salsas, and burritos.
You can also season your beans, enchiladas, and sausages with this herb. Before you grill some steaks, toss some sprigs to the grill to bring more flavor. The leaves are great in adding flavors to stews and chicken marinades.
Remember to use a bit sparingly because it offers more flavor than other varieties. The dried herb can be crushed between your palms to release the aromatic oils. If you’re making a large batch, you can use a blender or food processor.
Try To Use Some Mexican Oregano Today!
What is Mexican oregano? Well, it’s an herb variety which originates from Mexico. Unlike the Mediterranean variety, Mexican oregano is sweeter, more floral, and less bitter. Its taste is bit citrusy and anisey, which complements well to chilies and cumin. You can either use this herb to make an herbal tea or use sparingly on a variety of dishes, which includes stews, enchiladas, and chicken marinades.
If you’ve tried using some Mexican oregano already, let us know the flavor and suggest some helpful tips in the comments section below. Don’t forget to share this wonderful article if you find this helpful by all means you want.