Mexican Oregano: What it is and How to Use It
Mexican oregano is an herb with a slight citrusy flavor used to add a savory touch to many dishes, widely used in Mexican cuisine and all over the world. Learn more about it.
There are around 23 to 24 total mint plant species in the world, and they bloom with tiny flowers of various colors. Mint plants are an ideal source of edible herbs. Oregano is one type of mint plant that produces these flowers.
These are used as herbs that can add nutrients and flavor to any type of dish. Not only are they popular for their taste, but also for the treatment of a variety of health conditions.
When not being used in their raw state for health purposes, they are used to add flavor to dishes. In Mexico, you’ll find ample usage of one such citrus-tasting oregano, which is the Mexican oregano.
What is Mexican Oregano?
Mexican oregano is obtained from a Mexican flowering plant native to Mexico, Central America and the southwestern United States. It belongs to the verbena family of plants, Verbenaceae.
It is an herb that transcends Mexican cuisine. It is also used in a variety of dishes in Latin America, for dishes in which a sour taste is essential. Other than that, it can be used by anyone who wants their dish to taste more sour.
The Mexican oregano plant either remains as a shrub or grows into a mini tree of almost 7 to 8 feet in height. It has a citrus taste and is best used to add a savory taste to dishes.
Oreganos are mint plants that are mostly found in the regions surrounding the Mediterranean sea. Mexican oregano can be obtained all year-round and provides long-lasting storage.
Where Can I Buy Mexican Oregano?
Mexican oregano can easily be ordered online. Naturally, the Mexican oregano plant can be easily grown in places where the climate is timid and dry.
However, in the United States, it’s near to impossible to find Mexican oregano in its raw form. You’ll get it in dried form in grocery stores in the States as well as abroad.
Oreganos plants are easy to grow and take care of, so you can harvest them on your own as well. It’s possible if you have a wide outdoor space, as the plant can grow as tall as five feet. They are low-maintenance plants and only require deep and infrequent watering when the soil base runs dry.
Harvesting is simple – all you have to do is cut off the leaves from the stems. Otherwise, Mexican oregano can be found in the Southern regions of America, Guatemala, and of course, Mexico.
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Can I Use Regular Oregano Instead of Mexican Oregano?
Yes, the regular type of oregano can be used instead of Mexican oregano. However, you shouldn’t expect them to have the same taste. Mexican oregano has a slightly different (sourer) taste than regular oregano.
As its name suggests, the lemon-like citrus note of Mexican oregano makes it an ideal choice for authentic Mexican dishes in particular, as they’re mostly sour and spicy. Whereas, in regular oregano, the citrus taste is absent and so, it’s less sour too.
A much better substitute for Mexican oregano is Marjoram, as it has a similar taste. Majoram is also an oregano plant, so it can last year-round and if you can grow it on your own, it would require the same care as Mexican oregano.
Nonetheless, you may have to add a tinge of lime for it to taste as sour as Mexican oregano. So if you’re a lover of extreme sour taste, you can add as much lime juice as you want.
There is also Mediterranean oregano to consider.
What Do I Use Mexican Oregano For?
Mexican oregano is a prominent seasoning ingredient in Mexican and Cuban cuisine. Add it to your dish while cooking to enhance the sour flavor in particular.
It can be used for purposes other than cooking, such as aromatherapy when used as an oil.
You can use Mexican oregano whenever you want to add the sourness of lemon into your dish. It can be used to add aroma and flavor to both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. It can be used anytime, during any season, and in two forms: fresh or dry.
If you’re using dry oregano, keep the quantity to one-third times less than what you would have used for fresh. Mexican oregano in readymade powdered form can have more taste enhancers than their fresh counterparts.