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#1
Posted April 6th 2009, 10:48am
I have gotten it from Penzeys.

I try buying the bag that says oregano in the Mexican section of the grocery store - but it's not the same thing as what I get from Penzeys.

Anybody know other sources? It is really good stuff.

Nancy
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#2
Posted April 6th 2009, 11:00am
Nancy S wrote:I have gotten it from Penzeys.

I try buying the bag that says oregano in the Mexican section of the grocery store - but it's not the same thing as what I get from Penzeys.

Anybody know other sources? It is really good stuff.

Nancy


Nancy,

There are dozens, possibly hundreds, of Mexican-owned grocery stores in Chicago, and I'd be surprised if fewer than 100% of them carry Mexican oregano. I suspect that you're more likely to find what you're looking for at one of those places than you are in the "Mexican section" of a standard grocery store. The Cermak chain is one that I like, and they have multiple locations in the Chicago area. I'm sure you'd find Mexican oregano there, but you could also find it in just about any grocery store in Pilsen, West Logan Square, Albany Park, and other neighborhoods with significant Mexican populations.

Kennyz
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#3
Posted April 6th 2009, 11:02am
Nancy S wrote:Anybody know other sources? It is really good stuff.

The Spice House carries Mexican Oregano. Three Chicagoland brick and mortar stores and internet.

I should point out The Spice House sells my BBQ Rub. Though I have used and recommended The Spice House for years prior and continue to do so.

http://www.thespicehouse.com/
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#4
Posted April 6th 2009, 11:57am
Kennyz -

The "Oregano" - all it said but didn't seem Mexican - was purchased from Caputo's in Hanover Park, which SEEMS to have an excellent Mexican selection. They have the same brand at Fiesta Market in Streamwood. There are a lot of Mexicans that live around here, but the brands I see at those stores is what I see at the smaller Mexican places as well.

I do wonder if some people think they are using Mexican oregano but really aren't.

Might not be that big a deal with the enchiladas I intend to make, but....

Nancy
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#5
Posted April 6th 2009, 12:24pm
What I buy at Cermak and have seen at a number of other stores is definitely Mexican oregano. What about what you had made you think it was not Mexican? I wonder if you happened to buy the finely ground stuff they sell in bags instead of the whole dried leaves that still appear to have flower buds attached. I find that there is an immense difference in quality, with the whole oregano tasting vastly better.
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#6
Posted April 6th 2009, 11:06pm
I definitely purchased the real McCoy at some Hispanic market....not sure which. Maybe the one between Division and North Avenue, west side of street, on Ashland. It's the whole buds with the flowers. I've never seen the Italian type oregano with the buds, so that may be a way to tell them apart in the store....at least if you can see in the package.
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#7
Posted April 7th 2009, 10:01am
G Wiv - Thanks for mentioning The Spice House. They have a new location in Geneva and I went there.

I also went to Caputos. They did not have the old product I once bought there that wasn't really Mexican oregano. I guess they realized their error and dumped that product.

Caputos did have these two products:

San Miguel Oregano
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and

Mi Costenita Oregano

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At The Spice House I bought:

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Closeup of the label:

Image

Both the San Miguel and the Mi Costenita were whole (Entero) - they seem like highly comparable products. Both seemed very nice.

The Spice House product is more crushed. It's a darker green color, I don't know why.

Comparing the aromas - I think ALL THREE of these products were the same.

For the record, I bought some greek oregano at the spice house as well - that's 100% different.

So good news, I made too big a deal out of it, Mexican Oregano is easy to find.

Nancy
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#8
Posted April 7th 2009, 10:10am
Nancy- Thanks for reporting back and taking one for the team.
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#9
Posted April 7th 2009, 11:10am
I recently bought a package of Oregano Entero from Harvestime. I assumed it was Mexican, but was surprised that the package didn't say the country of origin.
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#10
Posted April 7th 2009, 4:20pm
Oddly enough, the name is mostly what these two plants have in common. They are not even in the same plant family. The Greek oregano is in the mint family, while the Mexican is in the verbena family. Consequently, their flavor is actually very different. People might think it redundant to stock two oreganos but you really need the Mexican for Mexican cuisine. It is more savory, earthy and citrusy than the Greek type oregano which is delicate and sweet. I personally do not care for cilantro, and I find Mexican oregano makes a wonderful sustitute.
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#11
Posted April 7th 2009, 4:40pm
Now let's find a source for 'fresh' Mexican Oregano!
I use Penzy's for thier consistant quality.-Dick
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#12
Posted December 15th 2009, 9:22am
budrichard wrote:Now let's find a source for 'fresh' Mexican Oregano!
I use Penzy's for thier consistant quality.-Dick

Penzy's is a good source, though I prefer The Spice House. I should note The Spice House sells my rub and I know, and like, the owners though I was a customer long before I ever met Tom and Patty.

Also of note, Penzey's offers only prepackaged spices while The Spice House will sell you any amount you wish, for 1-ounce to 5-pounds or more, this is especially handy when putting together large amounts of multiple ingredient spice blends, for example BBQ Rub.

I also appreciate the fact that Patty Erd is active in local culinary activities, Culinary Historians, Chicago Foodways and Slow Food, to name three. The Spice House is also generous with charitable donations, for example I have an upcoming cook with the Salvation Army and this will be the fourth year in a row they have donated the spices for cooking 120-pounds of beef.

Enjoy,
Gary
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#13
Posted December 15th 2009, 11:25am
I'll second the Spice House.

An upcoming visit from a family member meant I put together a last-minute spice order for them to bring along. Saffron prices are outrageous right now in Sweden as are vanilla.

I started searching Penzey's but noticed that the Spice House was considerably cheaper for both the saffron and the vanilla beans. I just so happen to have ordered an ounce of Mexican Oregano, too!

It all looks wonderful, was well-priced and the packing slip even had a handwritten thank-you! Hard to beat.
Last edited by Bridgestone on December 16th 2009, 8:24am, edited 1 time in total.
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#14
Posted December 15th 2009, 4:03pm
I got a package of fresh oregano at Cermak Produce on Kedzie just south of Montrose.

They have a whole bunch of spices in the front right refrigerated case of their store.

I think it was $1.50 or something super cheap.
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#15
Posted December 15th 2009, 5:43pm
I have bought fresh oregano at either Devon or Morse street Markets (probably both), and found it to be flavorful in a fresh herb way, but rather subdued when compared to dried varieties such as Mexican, Italian or especially the dried Greek oregano (the kind that comes on the long stalks wrapped in cellophane). Is dried oregano that much more concentrated or are the 'fresh' plants just a different variety? Or perhaps, Oregano is like hops and needs to be dried before the flavors fully develop? The fresh plants have a nice minty/licorice flavor but lack the 'punch' I look for in oregano. Fresh basil and thyme are completly opposite. They lose their flavor when dried, and what good is dried cilantro? It has less flavor than dried grass clippings.
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