Marjoram convinces with its characteristic flavor and also as a medicinal herb. But what should be considered during harvest and how can the herb be stored?
Dried marjoram can be kept for years [Photo: Mira Drozdowski / Shutterstock.com]
Harvest marjoram properly
As with all aromatic herbs, the essential oils are the decisive factor for the taste of marjoram. The composition and the content of the oils depend on the one hand on the variety, but on the other hand they can also be influenced by the time of harvest. The most aromatic plant material can be harvested shortly before or at the beginning of the flower formation. The flower formation costs the plant a lot of strength, which is then no longer available for the production of the essential oils. Thus, the content of the flavoring substances decreases with the formation of the flowers.
The herb is harvested by cutting off entire shoots just above the substrate. Leaving a few centimeters of the shoots with leaves will encourage new growth and branching of the plant. If the entire plant is harvested before the flowers have formed, the ornamental flowering of the marjoram is significantly delayed. If you do not want to do without the flower, you can also harvest after it. Unfortunately, then you lose the intensity of the taste.
The marjoram is harvested and dried in summer [Photo: sasimoto / Shutterstock.com]
Store marjoram properly
The usability can be easily and easily extended so that the spice is available from your own garden all year round.
- Dry marjoram
In addition to being used freshly harvested, marjoram can also be dried. If the whole shoots are dried in a dry place for two weeks, some aroma is lost, but the leaves, which are then stripped and hermetically sealed, can be used in the kitchen for several years.
- Freeze marjoram
The freshly harvested leaves of marjoram can simply be frozen after chopping. Taken from the freezer as needed, the marjoram is available all year round like freshly picked from the garden.
- Pickle marjoram
The fresh shoots of marjoram can be placed whole with olive oil in a bottle, for example. The shoots must be completely surrounded by the olive oil to prevent mold from forming. The olive oil absorbs the aromas of the marjoram and can be used for a spicy salad dressing or for tasty frying.
Do you know the difference between marjoram and oregano? If not, here's how to tell the difference between the two related herbs.