Oregano, also called pot marjoram, is a member of the mint family naturally distributed throughout Europe and some parts of Asia. Greek oregano, also known as Italian oregano, is a subspecies designated botanically as Origanum vulgare subsp. Hirtum. It has a bolder, spicier flavor than its parent and, in contrast to most culinary herbs central to Italian cuisine, it blends well with fiery spices and foods enjoyed in southern Italy.
In the west, most people identity with Greek oregano as the classic “pizza herb.” However, the dried leaf is widely used in Middle Eastern, Philippine, Spanish and Latin American cuisines as seasoning for meats, vegetables and beans. In Turkey, the herb typically resides at the table next to the salt and pepper.