Marjoram is a term that is often used synonymously with oregano. In fact though, it can be distinguished by a number of additional adjectives. Sweet marjoram, knotted marjoram, and pot marjoram are all slightly different variations on the theme.
Whatever you call it though, this is a delicious herb that is highly versatile and used in a wide range of cooking. It is particularly popular in Italian cuisine and can be found in many an Italian cookbook and countless pasta cookbooks.
Marjoarm comes from Western Asia and the Mediterranean. It was originally grown in Greece specifically however, which is why it was first used by the Greeks. According to legend, the herb was created by the Goddess Aphrodite who found joy in growing it in her garden. The Romans also appreciated how easy the herb was to cultivate and so would go on to use it in a lot of cooking. This way, it quickly spread across Europe and into China and Northern Africa. It would go on to become just as popular for its medicinal properties as for its taste! Marjoram is antibacterial, meaning that it can help to kill bacteria on contact. Those with stomach infections or throat infections could benefit from consuming marjoram to try and accelerate their recovery.
Likewise, marjoram is also a natural analgesic (meaning painkiller) and it is anti-inflammatory, meaning it can reduce swelling. This makes it even more effective at treating a wide range of different conditions.
For instance, if you have bad breath, then you can use marjoram to treat it. This is because bad breath (technically called halitosis) is caused by bacteria – the bad smell being waste produced by the bacteria. This also makes marjoram effective at helping to clean the mouth and prevent tooth decay!
Cooking With Marjoram
Marjoram is used in many dishes around the world. Don’t be surprised to find it in a French cookbook, German cookbook, or British cookbook. It’s also used in the pizza oven a lot! As mentioned though, it is primarily a Mediterranean and Italian favorite.
But the best way to get to grips with any herb from your spice racks is to try making something with it. To that end, let’s take a look at how to make a delicious ratatouille, made all the more interesting thanks to some marjoram.
To make this one, you’ll need to grab your cutting board and start chopping some fruit and veg. Specifically:
- One eggplant
- Two courgettes
- One red onion
- Two bell peppers (red or orange)
Cover these in oil and place in the oven on a baking tray for 20 minutes at 170C. Then, take out the tray and add:
- One can of chopped tomatoes
- Goats cheese to taste
- Marjoram to taste
Put in the oven for another 20 minutes and serve with a crusty bread. The result is sweet and tangy with a delicious, creamy, cheese!
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