A flowery scent and a mild-spicy aroma - marjoram is one of the most important spices in European cuisine. In Germany it is mainly used for the hearty cuisine. It gives boiled sausages a special taste and is therefore also called "sausage herb".
Marjoram is a classic for potato dishes and meat, but also refines vegetarian food. Foods that are difficult to digest, such as mushrooms, onions and legumes, become more digestible with the Mediterranean spice. In the pizza and tomato sauce marjoram can also replace its close relative oregano. However, the herb should be used sparingly, because it has a high spicy power. The flavor is best preserved when added at the end of the cooking time.
Marjoram( Origanum majorana) belongs to the mint family and is native to Asia Minor and the Eastern Mediterranean. The plant is 30 to 60 inches high, has ovate, gray-green leaves and hairy hairy. Marjoram is also suitable for the herb garden. The plant likes it sunny and protected, but does not tolerate waterlogging. A nutrient rich, well drained soil is ideal. The best harvest time is just before flowering from July to September, because then the content of essential oils is highest.
The ideal time of day is early morning or late afternoon. However, the leaves can be used fresh throughout the growing season. Incidentally, the more sunny the location, the more essential oils are contained. In natural medicine, the herb is used for loss of appetite, gastrointestinal complaints, nervousness and colds. The most noteworthy ingredients are the essential oils and their components such as borneol, carvone, eugenol, menthol, thymol, as well as flavonoids, tannic acid, rosmarinic acid and vitamin C.
Marjoram is available fresh or dried. There are two types of dried goods: "Gerebelter" marjoram consists of leaves and flowers, while the "cut" cabbage also uses stems to a minor extent. As part of the floral note is lost during drying, you should preferably use the spice fresh. The leaflets should be strong green and emit an intense odor when rubbed.(Heike Kreutz, aid)