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 smell like pizza in here?”

Oregano is indeed one of herbs you’re most likely to find on a pizza, and its strong aroma is likely to have you yearning for a slice of your favorite one.

There are plenty of other uses for oregano in food, however. Greek food, like kabobs, often feature oregano. Lemon combines well with dried oregano to flavor shrimp or chicken. Salads, especially those with Italian flavors, can benefit from the addition of oregano as well.

Some other notes on oregano:

  • Oregano is typically used as a dried herb rather than fresh. Drying herbs can concentrate their flavors, but certain ones – like cilantro – are generally preferred fresh. Do some research and experiment to find out how you like using herbs best in your meals!

  • The oregano plant is technically in the mint family, but the flavor of oregano differs greatly from what we know as mint.

  • Oregano is also known as marjoram.

  • As with most herbs, serving sizes of oregano are generally small enough that their nutrition content isn’t usually meaningful. Oregano does have a meaningful amount of vitamin K, however, so those on blood thinners should be aware of its presence at meals. It also has trace amounts of various other vitamins and minerals.

Next time you smell a delicious pizza, don’t just think of cheese and tomato sauce. Oregano is a big part of what makes pizza so flavorful, and can complement lots of other foods too.

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