It is closely related to oregano, but the plant is less hardy than oregano bushes, and it has a milder flavour, tasting a bit more like a combination of thyme and oregano.
The soft leaves are a grey-green colour.
Marjoram is used a lot commercially in making sausages.
The leaves can be used whole fresh, or dried and ground. It makes a really nice seasoning for bean and vegetable dishes, as well as for poultry, lamb and fish. Add near the end of cooking.
1 tablespoon fresh, chopped = 1 teaspoon dried
Marjoram was sacred to Egyptians; they would use it in their temples.
The Romans would sometimes make marriages crowns for brides and grooms out of Marjoram, and would plant it on the graves of loved ones.
Literature & Lore
“Here’s flowers for you; Hot lavender, mints, savoury, Marjoram.” — Perdita. The Winter’s Tale. Act IV, Scene 4. Shakespeare.
“Indeed, sir, she was the sweet Marjoram of the salad, or rather, the herb of grace.” — Clown. All’s Well That Ends Well. Act IV, Scene 5. Shakespeare.
To Romans, it’s name (“amaracum”) was very similar to “amor”, meaning love. Thus its association with love.
In the Victorian language of flowers, sprigs of Marjoram signified love.
From the Roman word, “amaracum”, which in turn came from the Greek word “amarakos”.
One of the German names for Marjoram, which is “Wurstkraut”, refers to its being used a lot in making sausages (Wurst meaning sausage, and kraut meaning herb).
Marjoram is not the same as Wild Marjoram, which is in fact another name for oregano.