A Huge Bunch of Oregano from the South of Portugal
Look at this beautiful, giant bunch of Portuguese oregano. You can see how much care has been taken to grow, harvest and sell it. A far cry from the little sad jars you can buy in the supermarket.
Oregano has got to be the quintessential mediterranean herb and there is nothing quite like it. Its fruity menthol aroma lends itself to so many dishes. A tomato and onion salad isn’t complete with out a generous sprinkling of the stuff. The combination of it with garlic and lemon, as they do in Greece, is mouthwatering. Only with oregano as fine as this can we recreate those long lunches on sunny terraces.
Oregano is different depending on where you go around Europe. There are so many different varieties, each with their own character. Origanum onites is the rhigani found the south of Greece and Turkey. Origanum vulgare subsp. hirtum is the variety most grown for commercial use, the sort found in Italy. Origanum vulgare subsp. virens. is the one pictured, the kind you find in Spain and Portugal. It has a very special fruity flavour like no other.
The beauty of oregano is that it is used dried, so it is there to brighten up food all year round. Next time you are going on holiday buy an enormous bunch and bring it back home. It doesn’t matter what variety it is; as long it is sold on the stalk you can’t go far wrong.