Marjoram is cultivated for its aromatic leaves, either green or dry, for culinary purposes; the tops are cut as the plants begin to flower and are dried slowly in the shade. It is often used in herb combinations such as herbes de Provence and za'atar. The flowering leaves and tops of marjoram are steam-distilled to produce an essential oil that is yellowish in color (darkening to brown as it ages). Leaves - raw or cooked. Sweet marjoram is widely used as a flavoring for salad dressings, vegetables, legumes and oils. It has a more delicate flavor than the closely related oregano, and is best when used fresh and only added towards the end of cooking. The flavor resembles a blend of thyme, rosemary and sage.
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