Oregano: Pizza and More

Have you ever thought there should be a cologne that makes you smell like pizza? There is – it’s called oregano oil. Let me explain. A few years ago, I had a wart on one of my knuckles. It was distracting and looked gross, so I was eager to get rid of it. After multiple home treatments and trips to the clinic, the wart remained as resilient as ever. I was almost resigned to its long-term residence on my hand, but decided to try oregano oil as a remedy. It worked! In a few weeks the wart was gone, with just a small scar betraying its one-time existence. During those few weeks, however, I sat in many meetings where my co-workers would exchange quizzical looks until someone asked “Why does it s

Chives, Scallions and Leeks - Oh My!

Here’s the typical discussion that comes up when you’re prepping a new recipe that includes chives: “Chives? Aren’t those like onions? Wait, what are leeks? Are they all the same thing?” Actually, they’re close. But while they’re all part of the allium family of plants, they’re not the same. Common onions, or bulb onions, have a large, underground bulb that can be yellow, red, or white. The large bulb is the desired part of the plant for food. Red onions are slightly spicy, while yellow onions are sweet. White onions are usually halfway between the two flavor-wise. Green onions, or scallions, are basically the smaller, younger version of bulb onions. Their flavor is a bit milder than bulb on

Mint: Much More Than Gum

As a kid, the flavor of mint only meant one thing to me – gum. As an adult, it was quite a shock eating a bowl of tabbouleh and struggling to place the refreshing flavor that complemented the feta cheese, cucumber, tomato, lemon juice and olive oil so well. Who knew that mint existed for things other than Trident and Mentos? There are actually many types of mint plants, including peppermint, spearmint, pineapple mint, orange mint, chocolate mint and more. The plants are highly aromatic, and the type of mint plant can often be identified by smell. Mint plants, which are perennials, tend to grow best in moist environments and in certain climates can be considered an invasive species. They are

In Appreciation of Cilantro

Let’s start our series on herbs and spices with one of the more polarizing items on the list – cilantro. It’s a cliché for most foods, but it’s true with cilantro; either you love it, or you hate it. This is because certain people (less than 20% of the population) taste cilantro in a different way than the majority of us do. To these individuals it literally tastes like dish soap, and cilantro can ruin an otherwise delicious salsa for them. For the rest of us, cilantro is a delicious addition to many meals, especially Mexican food. The plant is native to parts of Asia and Europe, but is now commonly used throughout the Western Hemisphere as well. It’s possible you’ve heard other names used f

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