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home > food & wine dictionary > marjoram

Food and Wine Dictionary

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 marjoram    [MAHR-juhr-uhm]

Early Greeks wove marjoram into funeral wreaths and planted it on graves to symbolize their loved ones' happinessboth in life and beyond. There are many species of this ancient herb, which is amember of the mint family. The most widely available is sweet marjoram,usually simply called "marjoram." It has oval, inch-long, pale green leaves and amild, sweet, oreganolike flavor. In fact, wild marjoram is another namefor OREGANO. Marjoram isavailable fresh in some produce markets and supermarkets with large fresh-herbsections. More often, it is found dried in small bottles or cans. There's also avery hardy species called pot marjoram, which has a stronger, slightlybitter flavor. It's found throughout Mediterranean countries but rarely seen inthe United States. Marjoram can be used to flavor a variety of foods,particularly meats (especially lamb and veal) and vegetables. Because marjoram'sflavor is so delicate, it's best added toward the end of the cooking time so itsessence doesn't completely dissipate. See also  HERBS; HERB AND SPICE CHART; A FIELD GUIDE TO HERBS.

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Material adapted from the The New Food Lover's Companion

© Copyright Barron's Educational Services, Inc. 1995 based on
THE FOOD LOVER'S COMPANION, 2nd edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst.

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