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Greek for "joy of the mountain," this herb sometimes called wild marjoram, belongs to the mint family and is related to both marjoram and thyme. Oregano is similar to marjoram but is not as sweet and has a stronger, more pungent flavor and aroma. Because of its pungency, it requires a bit more caution in its use.

Mediterranean oregano is milder than the Mexican variety, which is generally used in highly spiced dishes. Choose bright-green, fresh-looking bunches with no sign of wilting or yellowing. Refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to 3 days. Oregano goes extremely well with tomato-based dishes and is a familiar pizza herb.

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