Despite its name, Mexican Oregano is a member of the Verbenaceae family and not botanically related to oregano. Mexican Oregano has an intense, pungent aroma of pepper, grass, and hay. It has a pleasantly bitter, peppery flavor with distinct citrusy high notes and subtle hints of lime and licorice. Mexican oregano has 3% to 4% essential oil, which is about twice as much as standard oregano, helping to explain its overt pungency. While it has been slow to catch on, Mexican Oregano has become better known in this country with the increasing popularity of Latin, Mexican and South American cuisines.
Mexican Oregano doesn't have quite as colorful a history as many of the region's chile peppers, but it has been in use for hundreds of years, both for cooking and as a major component in folk medicine. It reputedly could cure headaches or symptoms of PMS, and as a tea could expel stomach worms. More recently, Mexican oregano has received attention because of its phytochemical contents. There has been a renewed interest in the flavonoids of plants in the last few years. Flavonoids are plant metabolites that may give some health benefits through cell signaling pathways and antioxidants, which helps us understand how this herb could be adopted for use as a folk remedy.
Tips From Our Kitchen
Use this in traditional Latin dishes like the spicy meatball dish albondigas or the Cuban braised stew ropa vieja. Mexican Oregano goes very well with beans so use in bean-centered dishes like refritos or charros. It lends authentic flavor to burritos or tamales, and can be used in salsas, whether they are cooked or uncooked. It can withstand longer cooking times and hold its own against strong flavors, so try it in meaty braises like carne asada or tomatoey chicken tinga. It’s also excellent with eggs and cheese, so sprinkle some in a Southwestern omelet or add to the enchilada sauce for savory breakfast chilaquiles.
Mexican Oregano can overpower a dish if there is too much present. Taste as you go, and use thoughtfully.
This herb can be substituted 1:1 with dried Greek oregano, though the flavor from the Greek Oregano will be much less pronounced. You could also try marjoram with a pinch of coriander. Mexican Oregano, with its pungent nature, is not a preferred substitute for Greek Oregano.
Our Mexican Oregano is grown in Mexico.
This product is certified kosher.
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Serving Size1 tsp
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*