shakers logo 

Make the most of culinary herbs and spices.

Questions and Answers
Send us mail
Free update
About us
Media mentions
Recipe Index
Reference Desk
Books We Like
Poster Store

Our Mini-Mall

Help make this site more useful and fun! Write with your ideas or comments.

Building better Web sites through better information. Click here and take our poll!


 Oriental Poppies, 1928
Oriental Poppies, 1928
O'keeffe, Georgia
Buy this Art Print at






All About Marjoram

cartoon marjoram graphic


You may not be familiar with it now but once you have tried marjoram you will be looking for new opportunities to use it. The recipe for My Best Beef Jerky provides a savory introduction. 

The cookbook is now available for purchase! To find out more about it as well as take advantage of special website pricing ($8 off--use discount code U9KGY74Z) visit the Spiced Right e-store at CreateSpace. We got a glowing review! Check it out at the Chef Talk website.


All About Marjoram

by Sandra Bowens

What’s the difference between marjoram and oregano? Depends on who you ask. Many botanists believe they are the same but a chef will tell you the difference is huge. Oregano was long considered “wild marjoram” but the plants do not look particularly similar. To confuse matters further, marjoram is a member of the mint family and considered the twin of thyme.

Marjoram has a more mild, sweet flavor than oregano with perhaps a hint of balsam. It is said to be “the” meat herb but compliments all foods except sweets. Common to Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods, marjoram is grown domestically and imported mostly from Egypt.

Egyptians used marjoram, along with other fragrant spices, to appease the gods in the embalming process. Hippocrates included marjoram in the many medical treatises he wrote and it was cultivated in the Roman Empire. Symbolizing happiness, when marjoram is found growing on a grave, it is said that the departed will enjoy a pleasant afterlife.

Marjoram, Origanum marjorana, is easy to grow from seed as long as you wait to plant until after all danger of frost has passed. It thrives with full sun and somewhat dry conditions, growing to a compact 8 or 10-inches. Mid-season, tiny white or pink clumps of flowers will form at the tips of the marjoram plant. To extend the life of the plant and encourage more leaf production, remove these buds as they form.

Although classified as a perennial, marjoram is sensitive to cold weather and will wither when exposed to frost. To bring it indoors for the winter, take clippings to root in water. In the warmest of climates, you may get another round of growth by cutting the plant back hard in the fall.

The delicate floral aroma of marjoram lends itself well to soaps, pomanders and herbal wreaths. Ornamental varieties such as the variegated or creeping types make attractive additions to the garden but are less flavorful than true sweet marjoram.

Marjoram really shines in the kitchen. Dried, the herb holds that lovely fragrance and its flavor much better than other herbs do when dried. Marjoram combines well with other seasonings and will enhance so many different dishes.

Consider it a natural for meat dishes but don't hesitate to use marjoram to season vegetables served cooked or raw, fish and chicken or dishes with eggs and/or cheese. It is especially good along with other herbs in beef stew.


My Best Beef Jerky


3 pounds round steak or other lean beef

1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup tamari (or light soy sauce)

1 1/2 teaspoons dried marjoram

1 1/4 teaspoons dried thyme leaves

1 teaspoon granulated garlic

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon mustard powder


Cut any visible fat or gristle from the beef.  Slice across the grain into 1/2-inch wide strips about 6 inches long.  Set aside.

Mix remaining ingredients together in a deep glass bowl or sturdy zip-lock plastic bag.  Add meat strips; toss well to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap or seal tight and refrigerate 24 hours. Toss the mixture every now and then while marinating. 

Using an oven thermometer, heat the oven to 140 degrees (F).

Transfer the meat strips to a rack over a pan that will allow air to circulate but will also catch drips from the marinade. The strips may touch each other but should not overlap.

Place the rack/pan in the center of the 140 degree oven and allow to dry for about 10 hours. Start watching after 8 or 9 hours since drying times will vary.  When finished, the strips will be pliable but dry in appearance. 


More All About...articles:



back to top



Search this Site


Other articles you might enjoy:

1. All About Oregano

2. Herb of the Year 2005: Oregano, Family and Friends

3. All About Thyme

4. Mint Questions & Answers Page

5. All About Peppercorns




Related Items: see all items...

The Herbfarm Cookbook
A luscious book from the Herbfarm kitchen-nursery filled with unusual ideas for using fresh herbs.  See's review of this book.

Your Backyard Herb Garden: A Gardener's Guide to Growing Over 50 Herbs Plus How to Use Them in Cooking, Crafts, Companion Planting and More Learn herb gardening from the ground up, literally, with the help of a knowledgeable teacher and gardener. 


Artichoke to Za'atar: Modern Middle Eastern Food  Authentic yet modern Middle Eastern cooking at your fingertips and arranged in alphabetical order at that.


Healing Spices: How to Use 50 Everyday and Exotic Spices to Boost Health and Beat DiseaseWritten by a scientist, this book bundles all that research into easy to read and understand chapters.  See's review of this book.



Barbecue Bible Sauces, Rubs and Marinades book

 Barbecue! Bible Sauces, Rubs and Marinades  This companion book to the hot-selling Barbeque! Bible adds flavor to the basic grilling methods.


privacy policy

 Copyright 1999-2013  A Pinch Of...  All rights reserved