Our Spice or Herb of the Week is MARJORAM. THE INFORMATION BELOW WAS TAKEN FROM THE WISEGEEK AT WWW.WISEGEEK.COM A SUPER WEBSITE.
Why Marjoram: I was curious about the name of the herb and was interested in its usage, characteristics etc. So here it is:
An herb is a plant whose leaves, seeds, or flowers are used for flavoring food or in medicine. Other uses of herbs include cosmetics, dyes, and perfumes. The name derives from the Latin word herba, meaning “green crops.”
Marjoram or sweet marjoram (Origanum marjorana, formerly Marjorana hortensis) is a perennial in the mint family that grows wild in the Mediterranean region, with 90% of the world’s supply coming from Egypt. Note that the genera names Origanum and Marjorana are used interchangeably by some. Marjoram is also called wild marjoram, as well as joy of the mountains and wintersweet.
For several reasons, there is a great deal of confusion in distinguishing marjoram from oregano. For one thing, they have the same genus, Origanum, while the species differ. For another thing, people call them by each other’s names:
•Greek oregano, O. vulgare, is called not only wild marjoram, but also Spanish thyme.
•Cretan oregano, O. onites, is also called pot marjoram or French marjoram.
•Marjoram, O. marjorana, is also called pot marjoram.
•O. heracleoticum is sometimes known as winter marjoram.
So, you can see how confusing this may become. Marjoram and oregano have more than species and similarity of flavor in common. A USDA analysis showed that these two culinary herbs have the highest amount of antioxidants, and more when they’re fresh than when they’re dried.
I hope you enjoy the infomration about Marjoram, and give it try, let me know what you think of the herb. Joe