Common name: Oregano, Sathra (Hindi), Maruga (Marathi)
Botanical name: Origanum vulgare Family: Lamiaceae (mint family)
Oregano is a spicy, Mediterranean, perennial herb,
particularly common in Greek and Italian cuisines. It has hairy leaves and
bracts, and white flowers. It is the leaves that are
used in cooking, and the dried herb is often more flavourful than the fresh.
Aromatic, warm and slightly bitter. Oregano largely varies in intensity: good
quality is so strong that it almost numbs the tongue, but the cultivars
adapted to colder climates have often unsatisfactory flavour.
Origanum is a genus of about 20 species of aromatic herbs in the family
Lamiaceae, native to the Mediterranean region east to eastern Asia. The genus
includes some important culinary herbs, including Marjoram and Oregano.
The dish most associated with oregano is pizza, an open pie of bread dough
baked with a top of tasty ingredients. Its relatives have probably been eaten
in Southern Italy for centuries. According to the legend, the first pizza was
made in 1889 when King Umberto and his wife Margherita sojourned in Napoli
(Naples) At this time, white bread flavoured with tomato paste was a popular
food for the poor masses. To honour the Queen, a local baker devised a richer
pie. In addition to the red tomato paste, white mozzarella cheese and green
basil leaves were employed to reflect the colours of the Italian flag. This
invention became known as pizza Margherita and spread all over Italy and now,
over the rest of the world.
|Photographed in the Garden of Five Senses, Delhi.|