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Marjoram is a favorite spice of Western cooking, in our latitudes it is less popular than, say, dill and parsley, and in vain. Many people have not even heard of it, and therefore do not know how and with what to combine it.
Its unique taste and useful properties deserve attention and recognition no less than traditional spices. It is no coincidence that its name means “incomparable” when translated from Arabic in the sound of “mardakush”.
What it is?
Marjoram is a relative of oregano, mint, basil, lemon balm, savory, thyme, sage: all of these herbs are included in the caramel family. This biennial shrub with small pink flowers originates from Turkey and is common in southern countries.
It has been known in Europe since the 11th century. Benedictine monks prepared liqueur on the basis of marjoram, the recipe for which has, unfortunately, been lost today. Later, the spice was used as snuff, it helped with colds and to enhance intellectual activity. Marjoram bouquets were presented to those who aroused admiration. Marjoram has found application even in magic as a component of a love potion.
The taste of marjoram is spicy, thin, pungent and pungent, slightly sweet and is somewhat reminiscent of cardamom or camphor. The aroma is sweet, floral, spicy. Such a rich palette of taste is due to the high content of essential oils and vitamins.
Below you can see how the spice looks in the photo.
Marjoram is not only an aromatic and tasty condiment. Its beneficial properties were discovered by the ancient Greeks. In folk medicine, marjoram is used to treat a wide variety of ailments.
Marjoram is recommended for a salt-free diet when diagnosed with:
- kidney disease.
Marjoram, due to its magnesium content, has soothing properties and is used:
- with headaches;
- nervous disorders;
- depression and irritability.
Due to the content of B vitamins, the plant is effective in treating:
- rheumatic arthritis;
- sports injuries;
- pain in joints and muscles.
The high content of vitamin C makes marjoram irreplaceable:
- with vitamin deficiency;
- menstrual irregularities;
- fragility of blood vessels;
- insufficiency of cerebral circulation.
Due to the tannins in the composition, marjoram is considered an effective remedy for gastrointestinal diseases:
- upset stomach;
- pain and spasms,
- lack of appetite;
- decreased production of bile;
The benefits, dangers and medicinal properties of marjoram are described here.
All of the above qualities are explained by the rich content of vitamins and minerals in this plant:
- vitamin B2 - 0.316 mg;
- vitamin B4 - 43.6 mg;
- vitamin B9 - 274 mcg;
- vitamin C - 51.4 mg;
- vitamin E - 1.69 mg;
- vitamin K - 621.7 mcg;
- vitamin PP - 4.12 mg;
- potassium - 1522 mg;
- magnesium - 346 mg;
- sodium - 77 mg;
- phosphorus - 306 mg.
In addition, marjoram contains up to 3.5% essential oils.
Like any plant, marjoram has contraindications:
- pregnancy and breastfeeding;
- age up to 3 years;
- increased blood clotting;
- tendency to venous thrombosis;
- individual intolerance and allergy to spices or essential oils.
In various cuisines of the peoples of the world marjoram is used both fresh and dried... Marjoram leaves and flower buds are consumed. Next, we'll talk about where and what dishes to add the spice, as well as what it goes best with.
- Soup - meat, bean, vegetable, mushroom or fish soup, clear or thick - will greatly benefit from marjoram, and you can salt the dish less than usual.
- Marjoram gives meat dishes a delicate and noble taste, thanks to which it is used as a component of sausages.
- When preparing pilaf, you can replace traditional spices with a teaspoon of marjoram, it will intensify the aroma of the dish.
- Fish, thanks to marjoram, becomes spicy and more piquant, moreover, in white varieties of fish this is more pronounced than in red ones. Jellied white fish will not require other spices if you use marjoram.
- Seafood and fish pates are unthinkable without this seasoning, which naturally enhances the flavor of the seafood, and just one pinch is enough.
- Regular cottage cheese with a dash of marjoram on the tip of the knife will seem sweeter, which will help you do without excess sugar.
- A pinch of marjoram added to spaghetti or a warm vegetable dish will add a rich, spicy taste to the dish - this is very helpful, for example, during fasting, helps to diversify the diet and fool the stomach.
- Cereal dishes will become especially tender and aromatic thanks to this spice, and you don't have to add salt and sweets to them.
- In baking, marjoram will emphasize the taste of the main component, be it meat, fish or fruit, and you will need very little seasoning on the tip of a knife.
- Wine or mulled wine with a pinch of marjoram will reveal the rich bouquet and aftertaste of the drink, while tea or chicory drink with the addition of this spice will bring more health benefits.
- Even a regular toasted sausage sandwich lightly sprinkled with marjoram will become more sophisticated and mouth-watering.
- Those who prefer homemade liqueurs and liqueurs are well aware that marjoram imparts a special delicate aroma to the drink. And in the composition of the famous liqueurs "Becherovka" and "Jagermeister", of course, this spice is also present.
- Also, on the basis of marjoram, you can prepare an original oil for salads from fresh vegetables.
It is enough to add one or two fresh sprigs or half a teaspoon of dry spice to a bottle of oil, and in a week the excellent spicy dressing is ready for use. Vinegar with marjoram is prepared in the same way.
- This spice is also well suited for canning vegetables and meat.
Marjoram is added towards the end of cooking or just before serving.
The healing properties of fresh and dried marjoram do not differ from each other., since this herb does not lose its properties during harvesting and storage.
We offer you to watch a video about the medicinal properties of marjoram and its use in medicine:
Application in cosmetology
Fragrant marjoram is famous for its beneficial effects on hair and skin, so its decoction and oil extract can be used for cosmetic purposes. He:
- narrows the pores;
- strengthens hair follicles;
- destroys dandruff;
- heals cracks in the skin, moisturizes it.
A few drops of the extract are optionally added to the face cream or hair products. If desired, it can be added to hand, nail and nail baths.
How to cook at home?
You can grow marjoram yourself if you have a summer cottage, or you can buy it on the agricultural market. Harvesting is done in mid-summer and early autumn in dry weather.
- The plant is washed in a bowl of cold water, rotten and black shoots are thrown away, the root is separated.
- Then the washed marjoram is tied in small bunches of 5-6 plants and hung out to dry in the open air in the shade. East windows or a balcony on the east side are best suited for this. If the weather is rainy, you can dry the plant in the kitchen above the switched on stove, at a distance of at least a meter.
- The readiness of the raw material occurs in a few days, when the leaves become completely fragile. At the same time, the essential oil component should be preserved in them, this becomes clear when rubbing dry leaves between the fingers.
- Then the grass is crushed with a special shaker and stored in a dark place in a tightly closed container.
You can add others to this spice, such as hot peppers or nutmeg.
Plants from western Asia are considered the best in taste and aroma. Of the varieties, French, Spanish and the so-called "wild" marjoram are preferable.
Where and how to get it?
Dried marjoram in bags is sold in supermarkets in the spice and condiments section, in the agricultural market by weight. When buying, you need to pay attention to the shelf life of the product and the general appearance of the plant:
- should not be blackened;
- moldy and rotten areas;
- musty smell;
- bitter taste.
Cost of 100 g of dried marjoram:
- in Moscow: 80-120 rubles;
- in St. Petersburg: 70-200 rubles.
Dried and crushed marjoram is best stored in a closed glass or ceramic container, from which essential oils will not evaporate. It is best to avoid plastic bags and cans, as the spice in them is likely to deteriorate, and in a metal container it will oxidize. In a wooden or paper container, essential oils can be absorbed into the walls, and the seasoning will lose most of its flavor value.
The shelf life of marjoram is from 2 to 5 years... Periodically, it makes sense to check whether the quality of the spice has deteriorated, and get rid of the spoiled one.
What spices are combined with?
The best companions for marjoram are:
- Bay leaf;
- red and black pepper;
They can be added to the cooked spice for storage if taste preferences have long been established.
What can be replaced?
If this spice is not at hand, it can be replaced:
They are no less tasty and healthy, but each spice has its own nuances.
A fragrant and useful plant marjoram will become a true friend of a skilled housewife... And in order to get the maximum benefit from it, you need to use it in moderation.
We offer you to watch a video about marjoram, its properties and uses: