On this chapter I will continue with a herb that’s a close cousin to Oregano , Marjoram. Marjoram is a perennial shrub with a citrusy flavor. It too is native to the Mediterranean region and North Africa, and is vastly used and preferred in their cuisines.
Marjoram is cultivated in many countries of Asia, North Africa, and Europe, for example, Spain, Hungary, Portugal, Germany, Egypt, Poland, and France.
Widely known as Knotted marjoram, marjoram is different from oregano, not only in appearance but also in flavor. Marjoram imparts a sweet citrusy flavor, whilst oregano packs a slightly bitter taste.
Marjoram belongs to the mint family and its flower buds have a knot like appearance. The plant’s leaves are small, hairy and sweet smelling. They are light green on top and have a greenish grey on the underside.
Marjoram is known as majorama in Swahili, and has become a favorite herb in the East African region. Farmers across the region enjoy cultivating the herb as its demand rises due to consumption increase, especially as an ingredient in recipes. Uganda is one of the countries that majorama is widely cultivated in the region.
Marjoram is easy to grow in our kitchen gardens and is easier to grow in house pots. It requires little to no attention and is easy to harvest and store. The three main varieties of marjoram that you can grow are:
sweet marjoram (the most common), pot marjoram and wild marjoram (or oregano). The herb is drought resistant, and doesn’t need fertilization, so the only care needed is watering.
Marjoram is available as fresh leaves, dried leaves and as an essential oil in most retail supermarkets.
In culinary marjoram is a common ingredient in many Italian and Greek recipes. From meat rubs, to pasta dishes, and is often used in place of oregano. With oregano the little the better but with marjoram, it’s the more the better.
Marjoram is an interesting ingredient to use in preparation of marinades and stews. Try this Jikoni Palatables Recipe. I also enjoy using marjoram as an ingredient in chicken marinade. The citrusy flavor it adds to the chicken is very appetizing.
For millennia, marjoram has been used as a medical herb. See
One to a few drops of marjoram essential oil and you will enjoy a pack of its health benefits, which include:
- Relief of muscle spasms and joints aches
- Clears respiratory congestion
- As a stress relief
- Digestion stimulation
- Sedative, thus fighting insomnia
- Ease nervousness
- Prevents infections in minor wounds
- Strengthens the immune system