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Marjoram Origanum majorana

An old favorite

There is an herb that many of us don’t know and those of us that do tend to forget about using it. That is sad since it is such a great herb for cooking. I am speaking of Marjoram, specifically Sweet Marjoram. Here in America we just call it Marjoram: the word sweet is understood. Marjoram is a very ancient herb. The Early Greeks would weave Marjoram into funeral wreaths and planted it on graves. This symbolized their loved one’s happiness in life and beyond.

Of the many varieties available Sweet Marjoram sets the standard for flavor. A relative of the mint family, it can sometimes be confused with Oregano, also in the mint family. Interestingly, “Wild Marjoram” is another name for Oregano. There is a bolder flavored Marjoram rarely found in the United States but popular throughout the Mediterranean called Pot Marjoram.

When cooked, Sweet Marjoram has a very delicate flavor, so it should be added near the end of cooking to retain as much flavor as possible. If you find you are out of Sweet Marjoram you can substitute Sweet Basil or Mint.