If you’ve traveled to Mexico and enjoyed the cuisine, you can find most of the ingredients you need to recreate the recipes back home.
But there’s often a certain something that’s missing. Steve Sando, proprietor of Rancho Gordo specialty foods, believes it’s the different oreganos of Mexico. “Each one seems a little different,” says Steve, “but they all seem a little earthier than their European [counterparts].”
Rancho Gordo now imports Oregano Indio, also known as Oreja de Raton, or Mouse’s Ear. It is grown by the Oregano Caxtle Cooperative in Tlahuitelpa as part of the Rancho Gordo-Xoxoc Project that helps small farmers in Mexico to continue to grow their indigenous foods.
Treat yourself to more exciting oregano. Photo courtesy Rancho Gordo.
“It’s less citrussy than the standard Mexican oregano,” says Steve, “but there’s an indescribable [difference] that makes it infectious. I just can’t stop using it on almost everything.”
Customers agree, with comments like “amazing stuff” and “very complex flavor.”
Steve advises to leave a bowl out for inspiration in the kitchen: Rub it into any meat or fish; add it to salsas, marinades, salsas, soups and stews; add to eggs, beans, Greek yogurt and of course, to Mexican recipes.
In addition to perking up “all sorts of salsas,” Steve mixes the oregano with garlic and olive oil as a rub over pork tenderloin. “The flavor of the oregano is strong but not overpowering,” he explains, “and permeates the whole loin.” He also adds it to a salad dressing of olive oil and pear vinegar; you can also use pear balsamic vinegar.
At $3.95 for a half-ounce glass jar or a two-ounce plastic bag, Oregano Indio is easily affordable. Consider the jars as stocking stuffers or party favors. They’ll be appreciated by both people who like to cook and people who order a lot of pizza.
Get yours at RanchoGordo.com.
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