Greek oregano, also known as Mediterranean oregano, is an aromatic and pungent herb, with a strong earthy, almost woodsy, flavor. It is a member of the mint family, as is basil, thyme, and marjoram. Greek oregano is often confused with marjoram since both have a similar appearance, but marjoram is less pungent and sweeter in flavor.
Most Americans will immediately associate the smell and taste of Greek oregano with pizza—as it is the variety found in shaker jars at pizza parlors. However, the herb can do so much more for other savory vegetable, meat, fish, and cheese dishes. Unlike many herbaceous herbs, it can be added early in a recipe since it stands up to cooking.
Woodsy, earthy, slightly bitter, and strongly associated with pizza.
Pungent, earthy and slightly sweet
Found in tomato sauces, savory meat and vegetable dishes, and rather notoriously in shakers at pizza parlors.
Try crushing oregano a bit to release even more flavor, but be careful not to add too much. Oregano has bitter under currents that can overpower a dish when there's an excess of the herb.
Even though the use of oregano in America predated World War II, it was American GIs returning home that popularized oregano in the states. The U.S. Army had sourced some spaghetti in tomato sauce meals from an Italian immigrant food supplier named Hector Boiardi. Mr. Boiardi later found additional success under his Americanized moniker: Chef Boyardee.