Marjoram is a spice that has hints of pine and citrus flavors and is synonymous to oregano. This particular variety of oregano spice is also known by other names such as knotted marjoram or sweet marjoram. This spice is used fresh as well as dry, in various marjoram recipes. Though a native of the Mediterranean region, marjoram is now grown in many parts of the world. When this perennial plant, that grows in cold climates starts flowering, the tops are cut and dried. However, the real sweet flavor in a dish is the result of using fresh marjoram.
History of Marjoram Recipes
Marjoram is believed to have existed during the Egyptian era and then cultivated during the Roman era. In fact, there is mention of this herb in the medical texts written by Hippocrates. The Greeks and Romans considered marjoram as a symbol of love and happiness. Many marjoram recipes were popular centuries ago and even now in various meat dishes. That is why it was and is known as “meat herb”. Egyptians were known to embalm the dead with various fragrant spices along with marjoram.
Culinary Uses of Marjoram in Recipes
Marjoram is a milder version of oregano. While oregano is more preferred in Mexican, North American, Greek and Italian cuisines, the milder marjoram is preferred in French and Mediterranean cuisines. Marjoram has many culinary uses. The minty, citrusy flavor of this herb makes it ideal to be used as a garnish salad dressings, soups, seafood sauces, and also poultry dishes. Some delicious marjoram recipes also include eggs, tomato, beans, and cheese. A delectable summer treat of grilled chicken is a result of the sweet marjoram.
Popular Marjoram Recipes of Various Cuisines
Marjoram is quite popular with Mediterranean and Middle East Cuisines. Some popular marjoram recipes are-
- Mediterranean Cuisine – A popular marjoram recipe of this cuisine is Confetti Polenta with Marjoram. This dish can be eaten as is and also served as a side dish with fish or meat. Other popular recipes of this cuisine that use marjoram are Mediterranean Fried Chicken, Garden Vegetable Lasagna, Easy Minestrone, Calzones, etc.
- American Cuisine – One popular marjoram recipe of this cuisine is Beef Jerky. The main ingredient of this dish is beef in the form of lean beef or round steak. This delectable jerky gets its flavor from many spices and one of them is marjoram. Other popular marjoram recipes of this cuisine are Grilled Quail in Red Onion Escabeche, Parmesan Flan, Grilled Prawns with White Beans, Cisra, etc.
- Middle Easterrn Cuisine – One popular marjoram recipe of this cuisine is Falafel. The main ingredient of this dish is thick pureed chick peas. Certain herbs including marjoram and bread crumbs are mixed with the pureed chick peas and then deep fried. This is a popular snack in the Middle East.
Non-Culinary Uses of Marjoram
Marjoram is not only used in cooking, but also to treat many ailments. This herb is known to not only relieve sinusitis (through a steam inhalant), but also helps in treating laryngitis. Marjoram is also known to help in the digestive process.
Marjoram Recipes: Trivia
Marjoram is believed to be used by the European singers for making a honey sweetened tea, as the tea helps in preserving their voices.
There is a belief that marjoram growing around the grave of a person is symbolic of the departed soul resting in peace.