Oregano’s most prominent modern use is as the staple herb of Italian-American cuisine. Its popularity in the US began when soldiers returning from World War II brought back with them a taste for the “pizza herb”, which had probably been eaten in southern Italy for centuries. There, it is most frequently used with roasted, fried or grilled vegetables, meat and fish. Unlike most Italian herbs, oregano combines well with spicy foods, which are popular in southern Italy. Also called “Joy on the Mountain,” it is interchangeable with marjoram.
The herb is also widely used in Turkish, Lebanese, Egyptian, Syrian, Greek, Portuguese, Spanish, Philippine and Latin American cuisines.
In Turkish cuisine, oregano is mostly used for flavoring meat, especially for mutton and lamb. In barbecue and kebab restaurants.
The leaves are most often used in Greece to add flavor to Greek salad, and is usually added to the lemon-olive oil sauce that accompanies many fish or meat barbecues and some casseroles.
Oregano is an antiseptic, as well as a cure for stomach and respiratory ailments. Oregano (O. dictamnus) is still used today in Greece as a palliative for sore throat.
Oregano is high in antioxidant activity, due to a high content of phenolic acids and flavonoids. It also has shown antimicrobial activity against strains of the food-borne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes.
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