If we look around, we can see increased usage of herbs and spices in almost every household and restaurant.
Herbs in soup, herbs in a salad, herbs as a garnish, and herbs in fresh juice!
And why shouldn’t we use it! Herbs are the best way to enhance flavor and take your meals to the next level!
Besides its culinary uses, herbs are also popular for their medicinal values since ancient times.
One such herb is the marjoram. It belongs to the genus Origanum.
Despite its popularity, there are certain confusions around this perennial herb.
Due to its similarities with other herbs like oregano and thyme, many people are still unaware of what exactly is marjoram, what does marjoram taste like, or the different ways you can cook with marjoram.
Thus, if all these sound familiar to you, you might want to read on.
This article will take you through everything you need to know about marjoram.
What is Marjoram?
Marjoram is an undershrub that contains notes of sweet pine and citrusy flavors. Though this herb was first native to Arabia and Egypt, it was more popularly grown in the Mediterranean, Western Asia, and North Africa.
Along with its mouth-watering culinary uses, marjoram also shows various medicinal properties because of the presence of antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Many people use Marjoram to treat ailments like painful menstruation, digestive issues, and infections.
Want to hear something interesting? The goddess of love named “Aphrodite” in Greek mythology also grew marjoram!
In a nutshell, Marjoram or Origanum Majorana is an aromatic herb from the mint family, which has several culinary as well as medicinal uses.
What Does Marjoram Taste Like? Does Marjoram Taste Good?
Did you know? Among the 40 different species in the genus Origanum, there is only a single type of original marjoram.
The rest of the species are oregano. This is why most people mistake marjoram with oregano.
However, marjoram and oregano are two different herbs. The two share a similar flavor, but the former has a relatively milder taste and aroma than the latter.
Marjoram is a little sweeter than oregano and also doesn’t contain any spicy flavor, unlike oregano.
Because of all the confusion between the two herbs, marjoram has other names such as sweet marjoram or knotted marjoram.
The name “knotted marjoram” also comes from the fact that the herb’s green oval-shaped leaves grow in such a way of creating clusters or knots.
The major flavors you can expect from the marjoram herb are floral, woody, citrusy, and fresh.
Since marjoram has a warm and slightly bitter taste, you can even compare the flavor with that of thyme herb. However, marjoram is relatively sweeter and has a stronger aroma than thyme.
There are two basic types of marjoram – fresh and dried. Dried marjoram is more potent than fresh marjoram.
Thus, if you want to substitute the two, you can use about one teaspoon of dried marjoram for one tablespoon of fresh ones.
Besides its flavoring culinary uses, marjoram is also rich in nutrients.
It is rich in certain vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. About two tablespoons of marjoram can contain the following nutrients:
Iron – 18% RDA
Vitamin C – 3.5 % RDA
Calcium – 8% RDA
Vitamin A – 6% RDA
Due to such nutritional benefits, marjoram is also available in the form of healthy tea extracts or supplements.
People usually include marjoram in their diet in tiny quantities as a spice or garnish.
However, if you want to enjoy the health benefits of this herb, you might want to try the marjoram supplements or consume it as a health drink.
How to Cook with Marjoram?
Marjoram is a versatile herb and has multiple uses. Whether you want to add it on top of your pizzas, garnish your soup, or dress your salads, marjoram can offer you endless options.
You can use both dried and fresh marjoram in different ways to enhance the flavor of any dish.
You may use dried marjoram as you would usually use oregano and add it to your meat dishes, pizza topping, salad dressings, etc.
Since marjoram is milder than oregano, you can even use this smooth herb in delicate dishes like tomato sauce, chicken seasoning, and lots more.
Another great way to cook marjoram is to blend it with other delicious herbs and use it for seasoning your soups and broths.
Any way you use marjoram, you won’t be disappointed with the results!
However, there are separate ways of cooking with fresh and dried marjoram. In case of fresh marjoram, if you add the herbs at the initial stage of cooking, the herbs may lose its aroma and flavor.
Thus, always make sure to add fresh marjoram only at the end of cooking.
Fresh marjoram may work best as a garnish on top of cooked dishes, or in soups.
When it comes to dried marjoram, it is a great option for marinades, tea, and herb blends.
The flavor of marjoram is similar to oregano. Thus, if you run out of marjoram, you can always substitute it with some fresh oregano.
But remember, the flavors of the two are not exactly the same. Marjoram is sweeter and milder than oregano.
Other good alternatives for marjoram would be sweet basil and thyme. Marjoram is a popular herb as of today and is found in almost every kitchen.
People use it for its unique flavor as well as health benefits.