The leaves of a perennial Eurasian herb of the mint family, having aromatic leaves. The dried leaves are used as seasoning is pleasantly pungent or tart in taste - kind of spicy flavor. The flavor makes it a perfect addition to traditional Italian and Mexican cuisines. Unlike some herbs, whose fresh characteristics mellow upon drying, oregano’s flavor and aroma intensify—the dried form is actually preferred to fresh in many dishes. Oregano and basil are natural complements, and combined, they are indispensable in pizzas, pastas and other Italian dishes.
Botanically speaking oregano refers to the Origanum vulgare, which is known as wild marjoram in Europe owing to its close resemblance to the herb that is known as sweet marjoram. It is a small shrub with multi-branched stems covered with small grayish-green oval leaves and small white or pink flowers. In Mediterranean climates oregano grows as a perennial plant, but in the harsher climates of North America, they grow as annuals. The English used oregano as an ingredient in snuff and as a perfume in sachets.