If you indulge in the pleasure of tasting different foods from around the world, then you know, or are familiar with, a spice that is known as Marjoram. It is a sub-species, or part of the same family as Oregano. There are so many different herbs to choose from that are from within this same family.
Now before we go any further
Marjoram? I have never heard of this before, what exactly is it?
Let’s take a step back to give you some history behind this widely used herb. If you think you have never tried it, trust that there likely has been a time in which you probably came across this herb, or one many closely related options used in its place. It is even possible that you have heard of marjoram by other names, as different regions of the world have different names for this herb.
This particular herb is mainly found in Cyprus and Turkey, but has been known to be found within the same region as well. Additionally, it has been harvested from this area for many years as it was looked at not only as an herb but it also held special importance to many.
Now you may be asking yourself
Have you come across marjoram before? Did you possibly have it in your hand and not recognize it? This is very possible, as it is from the same family as origanum. Does the name seem familiar? It should, as it is also known as oregano.
One major give away, that you are sure to pick up on, as to whether it is marjoram or oregano is the smell. The smell is a dead giveaway, as marjoram tends to resonate a specific aroma that you will surely enjoy and will appreciate adding it to your meal.
What if you can’t find Marjoram in your store?
You are excited about dinner. Family and friends are coming over and the recipe is absolutely perfect. You know everyone is going to enjoy the food, but it calls for marjoram and you are almost certain you have never seen this herb at the store down the street. Don’t start panicking just yet, luckily, there are some options to use in place of marjoram that will provide a similar great taste and aroma to your food.
Let’s talk about the first option that you can use:
The one herb that you could use, and possibly even fool some people into believing is marjoram is, you guessed it, oregano. As oregano comes from the same family, it is only logical that the herbs would provide a similar use. This is especially great if you plan to make a nice warm soup, or to make a dressing, that calls for this particular herb. There really is no limit to using this alternative, as it is affordable and easy to find in the store.
Now there is one difference that you will note between these two spices. The difference is the taste. While marjoram offers a sweeter taste, oregano does not, as it has a bit of a stronger taste in place of the sweetness of marjoram. This just means to use less oregano when using it in place of marjoram. Less is really more in this case.
Are there any upcoming holidays that you been preparing some important recipes for? Be sure to use some of this particular herb and you will not be disappointed.
The next option is one you may not have expected:
Basil is a perfect blend of citrus, pepper, and just a hint of sweetness. You can use this for many dishes that you would use marjoram for, as well. You can find this herb in both fresh and dry options, all according to your preference.
Another option is one that is preferred in the northern part of North America. This one would be a great option when used dry. It is similar to sage, but has a nice, decadent peppery taste that would go great in so many dishes. If you have plans to cook some meat, be sure to use some of this herb, summer savory.
As mentioned before:
Though summer savory is a great option, the aforementioned sage is as well, as it is from the same family. It’s another great option that is available mostly everywhere.
Let’s go back to the region where you can find Marjoram
If you were to go to the same region you find marjoram, you would find this other herb, one found in so many pantries across the land: thyme. You can find thyme at any store and there are even those who know how to properly grow it themselves. Regardless, this is another great option to use when you are do not have marjoram readily available.
Remember thyme is great for meat. Have a dinner coming up that will require a little something extra? This would be that perfect addition that any of your guests would appreciate.
Another great substitute is similar in name, though a type of thyme, this one is known as lemon thyme. It gets this name because it has a noticeable citrus taste that could be use to enhance any plate or bowl. There are no bounds in which this particular herb be used for and provides a great delivery on the taste.
Now let’s talk about estagon
You may be asking yourself if you have ever even heard of estagon. Yes, you likely have; It’s called tarragon. Also known by its scientific name Artemisia dracunculus, this herb is usually one that is a great to use with seafood or, of course, poultry. If you add this to any of your home dressings you would not be disappointed with the end result, as it can deliver for your taste buds.
You may be asking, are there any more substitutes?
Yes there are a few more to go over still.
A mixture of dried Provençal herbs and spices.
Also know by a much more popular name of herbes provence, as it is from the same family, this too can be used as a great substitute. Now, the only recommendation for using this particular herb is that a little goes a long way. Do not feel obligated to use a lot to get the flavors you want across. In the end you will not need to put very much.
There are quite a few more herbs to go over.
However, instead of giving you so much information on more herbs, let’s just get to the specifics. Another great substitute, commonly used in middle eastern cuisine, provides the same zest and peppery taste you want to use to compliment your soup, meat and poultry. The possibilities are endless, really.
However, let there be just one word to the wise.
Last choice, and it should stay as your absolute last choice, but lemongrass, particularly in dried form. It is popular to use and can make a great addition to your food, but if you are looking for a mixture of peppery flavors and some added citrusy zest then stick with the previous recommendations.
Now that you know what you can use as a substitute, what are the actual benefits of the herb itself?
Marjoram should never be confused for the herb which it most closely resembles, oregano, because it is not the same. Marjoram provides much more than just an added spice to your meal. It has also been used for other things, ranging throughout different industries. This being said, it is not only meant for food, but also has been known throughout time to be a great medicinal herb when used in a tea form.
It is used for various ailments, ranging from symptoms similar to that of the flu, to issues with the digestive tract as well. It can also be used in order to calm one when they may be feeling overwhelmed. So, though its uses are known for cuisine throughout the world, it does have other useful beneficial properties as well.
Commonly Found Questions and Their Answers:
Can it help with inflammation?
This is a great question, as stated before, it is known that this particular herb has been used for medicinal purposes. That being said, there have been uses that have been documented that this particular herb can help in some ways for inflammation.
What exactly are the Uses for this Herb
When this particular herb is dried it can be used to enhance flavors in any of your favorite dishes, ranging from poultry to vegetables. There really is no limit to how you can use this herb. However, you may want to be mindful of exactly how much you use in your recipe.
Can it help with insomnia issues?
This herb has been known to be turned into a oil, which people have used to help calm themselves when feeling overwhelmed. In terms of feeling anxious, when used properly through topical form or ingested, it can indeed assist in helping to catch some sleep.
They look alike, but what is the difference?
Marjoram looks like oregano. It is very easy to confuse the two, but there are some distinctive giveaways to note that will help you tell the difference between the two. Oregano is going to have a more spicy background to it. The other is going to have a much more subtle aroma to it.
Can it help my immunity?
The herb can assist in building up your immunity, and is known to be bactericidal.
What other names does it go by?
There are many. It is also known as oregano, but it does go by other names as well, as it comes from the same family.
How do you reap it?
If you plan on keeping this herb around and planting it yourself, be sure you are aware of how to handle it. You will need to make the correct cuts in order to get new growth. You will also need the proper material in order to store the herb once it has been collected for use.
Time to conclude
Are you worried you may not be able to find this particular herb in your store, or perhaps you are certain you may not enjoy adding it to your plates? Realize there are other options to use in its place. If you ever come across a recipe that calls for it, refer back to the list in order to get ideas in what you can use instead, and what may enhance your recipes even more.
If this is something new to you and you are not sure how you feel about introducing something new to the table, do not fret. Every individual will have their particular taste, whether it is adding a pinch or a tablespoon. The great thing about recipes is there is always room for improvement and an opportunity to learn.
Did it seem like there may be another option that was left out? Sound off below and let us know. What would you use instead or would you try any of the suggestions?