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FAQs about oregano
They're not the same, even though they're often confused with each other since they have a similar appearance. In the Mediterranean, oregano is also known as wild marjoram, but that doesn't mean the two are related. To make matters more confusing, marjoram's botanical name is in the same genus as oregano, but it's a completely different species. Marjoram has a gentler lemony-like flavor and is sweeter than oregano. It also doesn't have quite as strong of an aroma. However, if you find that you are out of marjoram, you can substitute oregano in the dish.
One of the most common uses of fresh oregano is using it in a bouquet for stocks and soups. If you plan to use it this way, don't strip the leaves from the springs; instead, tie it up with other herbs. When using oregano in dishes, strip the leaves from the stem and discard the stem. Make sure you wash the leaves. Since the herb has a more aggressive flavor this way, make sure you don't add too much as it can cause the dish to be too bitter.
You can also substitute dried oregano for fresh, with the equivalent of one tablespoon of fresh oregano equaling one tablespoon of dried oregano. Also, if your recipe calls for a specific measure of fresh oregano, the conversion is 1/2 cup of fresh chopped oregano equals one ounce of dried oregano.
Yes, it's possible to freeze oregano. Wash and dry the fresh oregano sprigs after removing them from the stem. Place them in a plastic bag, remove the air, and put the sealed bag in the freezer. Another option is to mix chopped oregano leaves with a small amount of water and put them in ice cube trays. Put the trays in the freezer for a few hours, remove the frozen cubes, and place them in a plastic bag. Either way, the frozen oregano lasts for up to one year.