Mexican oregano on wooden spoon
Here's What Makes Mexican Oregano Unique
By Alli Neal
It's easy to assume that Mexican oregano isn't too different from its Mediterranean counterpart, or that they are interchangeable in recipes, but they're different plants entirely.
Mexican oregano (Lippia graveolens) is related to lemon verbena, while Mediterranean oregano (Origanum vulgare) is related to mint and is closer to marjoram.
While Mexican oregano boasts bright flavor notes of citrus and anise, Mediterranean oregano tastes piney, peppery, and minty, but that may change depending on where it’s grown.
The Mediterranean version has small, smooth-edged green leaves, and is almost always sold fresh. The Mexican version has huge leaves with serrated edges and is sold dried.
However, you should watch out for "Greek cut" Mexican oregano, which will take on the smaller, often fragmented
appearance of
Mediterranean oregano.
If you’re making a Mexican dish, use Mexican oregano, and vice versa. One can be used in place of the other in a pinch, but your final product may not taste the way it should.