Oregano is an important culinary herb, used for the flavor of its leaves, which can be more flavorful when dried than fresh. It has an aromatic, warm and slightly bitter taste, which can vary in intensity. Good quality oregano may be strong enough almost to numb the tongue, but the cultivars adapted to colder climates often have a lesser flavor. Factors such as climate, seasons and soil composition may affect the aromatic oils present, and this effect may be greater than the differences between the various species of plants. Oregano's most prominent modern use is as the staple herb of Italian-American cuisine. There, it is most frequently used with roasted, fried or grilled vegetables, meat and fish.
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