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Monday, November 14, 2011

Holy Oregano (Batman)!

I positively adore oregano.  I don't care if that makes me a little plebeian, or even a bandwagon-jumper; it's the herb of the Gods.
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I've always loved it.  I remember almost as far back as my memory goes, sitting in my basement library, "reading" those old 'scratch-and-sniff' books, and wearing out the entry labelled "pizza".  I'm sure many other voracious little children would wear out the ones like "strawberry" or "root beer" or things like that... but for me it was the "pizza".  I learned later that that was basically just oregano!!!

Sure, basil, rosemary, fennel, and cumin are all up there too, but oregano has to be my favourite.  I think, personally, that it has been given a bad rap: often overlooked based on assumptions about its prevalence.  True, it exists in almost every kitchen, but there is a reason for this - it is mild enough in small quantities to be an excellent addition or complement to almost any dish, but still unique and flavourful enough to take the stage in larger quantities.  

I always buy large amounts of the dried leaves (never pre-ground, however!) to have on hand in my spice drawer, and I will mill a little bit to put in most everything.  It is a regular friend to things like pork, and carrots, and an absolute must-have in ijj's famous tomato sauce.

Once in a while, however, I'll pick up a bunch of fresh oregano from the market, and the ensuing few days are a special treat which see me labouring happily in the kitchen every night.  

It makes me excited to cook. 

Not minutely because I can make almost anything delicious with a dash of it.

 Click to Enlarge These Beautiful Pics!