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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Holy Greek (dried) Oregano (Batman)!

Fresh herbs are always better than dried.

Fresh anything, is better than non-fresh, really.

But, unfortunately, it's just not practical (or even possible) for most of us to have a pantry stocked with every variety of fresh herb available.  Maybe if I had my own cooking show, or some sort of corporate-sponsored kitchen...  but alas, I am forced to content myself with a relatively well-stocked dried herb and spice collection.

For the most part, these herbs have a weak aroma, and an even weaker flavour, but if you keep them relatively air-tight and regularly cull the stale ones, it can serve.



This stuff is an exception.  I would call it "fresh dried" if such a thing were possible, or possibly not an oxymoron.  In any case, though, this stuff is awesome.  Even before you open the air-tight sachet it is packed in, the fragrance is so overwhelming as to make your entire house smell.  And strongly.  And, if you adore oregano the way that I do, that is an excellent thing.  I'd pay the $3 just for that, in fact.  Much cheaper than a scented candle!

Anyway, I've long been a fan of this stuff, and usually go through at least two or three a season.  This is the first Greek variety I've purchased, however, and am happy to support something which is apparently a direct export from there, and which appears to be relatively organic as well.  Always a plus.

So, I highly recommend this stuff.  Even if you aren't like me, using oregano at least a half a dozen times a week (in everything from soup, salads, and salads, to grilled meats and pasta dishes) you'll find that this sachet (being already dried) will last quite some time.  Especially if you keep sealing it off (with a twist-tie) after opening.

It's so amazingly flavourful and aromatic for a dried herb.  Just look at it!  It's veritably crystallized with flavour!

My wife doesn't really love oregano as much as I do... especially the dried variety which admittedly can be a bit... stemmy.  This can be easily mitigated, however, with careful stripping technique, and if you're really worried, just give it a few grinds in your mortar and pestle or even a processor if you like.  But this stuff literally crumbles in your hands!  I can't recommend it enough.

If you can't find it in your regular grocery store, just hit up your closest 'ethnic' grocery store (I'm loathe to use this word - after all, in our increasingly-globalizing world, shouldn't cuisine also start to see some unification? - but there you have it).  An Italian grocery store would be certain to have it.  While you're there be sure to pick up some bulk cans of extra virgin olive oil, and a couple of huge tins of crushed tomatoes!

Anyway... I'm excited whenever I have this available in my kitchen, and like I said, I use it in almost everything.  I will close on that, and with this awesome hi-res close-up photo.  You can even see the flowers in there too!  I swear I could just eat this stuff as-is.