What exactly is Mexican oregano? Do you really require it to go along with the regular oregano you have in your kitchen? Find all you should learn about it here!


Mexican oregano is the flowering plant indigenous to Mexico, Central America and the southwest United States. It’s drought-resistant, so can thrive in dry climates.

It is renowned for its earthy taste with citrus undertones. It is part of the same family with lemon verbena which is why you’ll find some similarities.

Mexican oregano is an essential ingredient of Mexican cooking. It is a favorite seasoning for black beans, and a variety of other meat-based dishes. It is a staple in Latin American kitchens, it is a general-purpose seasoning that is used in almost any food.

In Mexico the country, it’s utilized as a tea ingredient!

Mexican oregano vs. regular mediterranean oregano


The two varieties of oregano have a common name but that’s it. They come of different plant families, and come with distinct aromas and tastes.

Oregano that is regular in its use can be described as an Italian and Mediterranean spice that has minty undertones. It is a perfect match for regional dishes. It is often in pasta sauces, barbecued meats, pizza and other dishes.

Mexican oregano is a blend of citrus and lemon flavor, along with shades of the licorice. This flavor is a perfect combination with Mexican cuisines. It is typically used in salsas and chili because it is a perfect match with the spicy chilli peppers.

Its rich, peppery, and earthy flavor is perfect with burritos, tacos, beans and meats that are heavy. Although it is delicious raw, it is much better when it is dry.


Some people are unsure if normal oregano or Mexican oregano are interchangeable. Although you could substitute one for both, taste isn’t exactly identical. Marjoram is a more similar substitute to the taste that is Mexican oregano. In actuality, it’s often referred to as Mexican marjoram, or Mexican wild sage.

If you aren’t a fan of the citrus notes of this spice, add the coriander in a pinch.

However it’s not the case that one spice can be the sole ingredient in your dish. It’s perfectly acceptable to make use of your “regular” mediterranean oregano that’s typically sold in most shops. However, if it’s close to you, or you’d prefer to experiment with it, it’ll give a rich earthy flavor to of your food, which is incredible! I highly suggest giving the flavor a go.


It isn’t easy to locate Mexican oregano in big chain supermarkets. Particularity stores and Latin markets typically have it, and that’s the first place I’d go. Because it’s a dry spice it is also possible to buy it on the internet and get it delivered to your doorstep regardless of how far from the nearest ethnic store is!

I’ve been recently presented to The Spice House and am extremely impressed by their excellent quality. They carry a vast selection of spices from all over the globe and include Mexican oregano.

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The intense grassy flavor that this spice imparts is wonderful in spicy dishes. To increase the taste apply a gentle rub between your fingers prior to applying it. The leaves will begin to release the flavor contained in the leaves. Use it in these dishes to get a unique taste:

Tacos – Ground Beef Tacos and Chicken Tinga Tacos

Stews – Chicken Pozole Verde and Red Posole

Chilis – Spicy Vegetarian Chili and Mexican Chorizo Chili

Meats – Carnitas, Carne Asada and Pollo Asado

Beans – Charro Beans, Black Bean Soup and Refried Beans

Why Do We Think of Mediterranean Oregano as the Default?

Mediterranean Oregano became popular in the 1940s, when GIs who returned from WWII were enthralled by it and remembered with fondness the pizza they eaten during their time in Italy. Also, we gained a cultural passion of basil thanks to them as well! In the 70s and 1980s, Mexican Oregano became increasingly well-known since Americans started to embrace more Mexican food items. The simple solution to the question lies in that people tend to think of Mediterranean as the most popular choice because it was culturally accepted initially and has an older place in our food history. Mexican Oregano is a staple in our culinary world also, but it’s relatively newer and is not widely known.

Which one is more effective- Mediterranean Oregano or Mexican Oregano?

There is no way to say that one is “better” than the other however, each is better suited for specific types of food. Mediterranean Oregano is crucial for Italian food, however it is also a staple within Turkish, Spanish, and Moroccan cuisines. Mediterranean Oregano tastes lovely with cream sauces, vinegars soup dressings, salad dressings as well as herb butters. Combine it in olive oil and apply it onto food you’re about to grill, or put it on a freshly baked slice of bread. It is a perfect match with basil and garlic, as well as thyme and parsley, and also eggs-based dishes such as quiche or frittatas. It is a mild taste that is reminiscent of rosemary. This is the herb you should make use of when you are dealing with strong flavors that tend to be the sweet or sinful.

What Does Mexican Oregano Taste Like?

Mexican Oregano On contrary, is a more strong, strongly earthy flavor which is much more suitable to the tastes that are typical of Mexican as well as Tex-Mex cuisines. It’s also identified as possessing a tangy lime taste. It’s delicious with moles, chile con carne and beans, burritos and beans as well as fish, enchiladas pork and salsas, soups tacos, stews, and any tomato-based dish in these types of cuisines. As for spices, it works well with chili powder, cumin dried Mexican garlic, chiles as well as black pepper. This is the kind of herb you’d choose to add for intense spicy flavors, or in dishes that are extremely spicy.

Can I Use Mediterranean Oregano or Mexican Oregano Interchangeably?

Because food preferences come down to personal preference It is possible to utilize whatever you’d like to spice whatever food you like. The difference is that Mediterranean Oregano and Mexican Oregano possess distinct flavors and can’t be used in recipes that specifically require either. Whichever you prefer the two kinds of Oregano come with a wide range of amazing applications!

After our battle we’ve found an unconvincing draw! Both kinds of oregano are excellent and each has distinctive strengths in different culinary styles across the globe. If you’ve been wrongly adding Mediterranean Oregano into your Mexican dishes, replace it by using Mexican Oregano and check if that the flavor is significantly improved!

By Michael Caine

Meet Michael Caine, a versatile author hailing from the tech-savvy landscapes of the USA. With a passion for innovation, he navigates the digital realm with his insightful perspectives on technology, gaming, and niche topics. Michael's writing transcends boundaries, seamlessly blending in-depth tech analysis with a keen understanding of the gaming world. His engaging content resonates with readers seeking a blend of cutting-edge insights and a touch of Americana. Explore the digital frontier through Michael Caine's lens as he unveils the latest trends and thought-provoking narratives in the ever-evolving world of technology and beyond.

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