We Know Oregano

Many of you new to KirIan might be wondering, “Okay, why should I buy your oregano?” and that’s a good question! We might be asking the same thing, or, we might just go ahead and spend 12.50 (including postage) to find out if the claims are true.

Those of you who have already sampled our oregano product know at least one of the partner’s of the business – and the commitment to quality especially when it comes to culinary products. And you already know just how good our oregano is – thank you for the repeat business! And thank you so much for your testimonials and recommendations – so very much appreciated.

For those of you who don’t know us yet, some background:

We Always Loved Oregano

Oregano has been a spice that has always been in a certain household in Orangeville, Ontario. It is used copiously in meat dishes, pastas, salads and almost anything else Ian and his son David could think of trying it with. David, since he was a little boy, taken the oregano shaker and spilled more oregano on his spaghetti, every time it is served. One time, he even wanted to find out what homemade yogurt and oregano would taste like; he liked it! You could say, and you would be right, that there is a big fondness for oregano in the Scott household. This even includes David’s older brothers who are adults living in Ottawa and have sought out occupations in the food industry. More about them, soon.

We’ve Known The True Greek Variety (Origanum vulgare hirtum) Is Superior

We’ve had just about every brand of oregano you can buy in the grocery stores in Canada. From the pathetic dried hay-like Bulk Barn stuff, to “No-Name” generic brands, store brands and even the so-called premium – none of it has the same bold taste and deep aroma. Much of the oregano in North America labeled “Mediterranean” is not the true Greek oregano and in fact, there is scientific evidence that many of these products are adulterated with sumac leaves, olive leaves, and other things that are not oregano, but when dried, most can’t tell the difference from the appearance alone.

Some years ago, after reading that much of the packaged spice labeled “oregano” (and even some of the seeds sold as that) is actually “Common Marjoram,” Ian Scott made an effort to seek out true Origanum vulgare hirtum and grow it himself, here in Ontario. And you know what? It wasn’t bad! We watched it grow and knew it was true Greek Oregano because it had white flowers; not the pink ones that are often labeled “Greek Oregano,” but are not.

After harvesting the crop, carefully drying it for some weeks, we discovered that what he had was far superior to anything that we had bought at a grocery store. Wee David, the oregano monster, also agreed! But it was not easy work to harvest and dry enough of it to last until the next year.

In the ensuing years, an opportunity came up for Ian to research and write some articles for website focussed on the health benefits of a variety of spices, herbs, and foods. Something that kept coming up was the superiority of true Greek Oregano to other varieties in health benefits, quality of aroma, and the superiority of taste. Now generally, these sort of qualities are subjective and are difficult to quantify objectively, but one thing we know is that there is a compound in oregano called “carvacrol” that gives oregano that warm sensation on your tongue, and the typical aroma that many associate with oregano.

In the research, it also came up that it was not just the species Origanum vulgare hirtum alone – but also…. where it was grown and the climatic conditions that occurred while the oregano plants grew!

Remember, Origanum vulgare hirtum is already considered to be a superior variety of oregano for many reasons but the research shows that even within this sub-species, there can be variation in quality.

Fast Forward To 2017 – “The Food Just Tastes Better In Greece”

In autumn of 2017, Ian had an opportunity to visit Greece – not with any ideas in his head of checking out oregano though! That was the furthest idea from his mind at the time. The main purpose was to have a vacation while also having the opportunity to meet someone who had become a very dear friend over a long period of time. Of course, the idea of visiting Greece was an amazing prospect! One of those “dreams that will never happen” but did happen, coming true. Just six months prior, Ian would have said, “Greece? Would love to visit but I probably should get back to Ireland before I think of any other place to visit.”

But as life would have it, Ian showed up in Athens, awaiting someone who would turn out to be a beautiful and thoughtful hostess to his first vacation in many years. Ian thought that Ms Kiriaki Iordanou, with her smile and quick wit could be taken for an Irish girl, while apparently, Ian, despite the fair hair and Celtic skin, might be taken for a Greek in personality.

One of the first things that Ian was treated to was a real Greek souvlaki… actually, two of them, so it was souvlakia. And Greek salad. Eighteen hours of traveling, and there was no time to sleep… it was about the food.

Before Ian left for Greece, some of his friends and business associates that had already been to Greece had said to him, “The food justs better in Greece.” They could not pinpoint a reason, although there might be several… but as Ian ate… and ate… and ate… during the rest of that trip, it seemed that maybe the Greek grown oregano might have something to do with it.

Of course, it could have been the Tsipouro too… almost as equally ubiquitous to Greece as the amazing oregano, but we did not always have Tsipouro with every meal. And if you don’t know what Tsipouro is, that’s for another story! Sadly, KirIan is unable to legally import Tsipouro into Canada – but maybe someday!

The vacation soon came to an end, but not without Ian walking into a small shop, smelling some amazing aroma of oregano, and deciding on the spot to bring back about 2 kg for personal use. It was just simply the best oregano available at the time, and far better than anything he could get back in Canada, although Kiriaki whispered a few times, “Ian, we can get better than this, you know.”

Back in Canada – With Greece Grown Greek Oregano

It was with much regret that Ian had to leave Greece, but managed to get his 2 kg of oregano through customs (it could look like what some call “shake” but you can tell right away by smelling, that it is great oregano), and one of the first things he did after arriving home was to open the bag and have David smell it. “Wow!” That was the reaction. Just… “Wow!” Yes.. this oregano was special. Ian offered some samples to others to get their opinion, and over and over, it was the same – “I want more of that!” “If you go back to Greece, bring more back please.” “That is the best oregano I’ve ever had.”

There was an incubation of a business idea going on, but Ian wanted to make sure – offered small samples to others, people who enjoyed cooking, people who enjoyed good taste and aroma in their food… and all the reaction was the same: “Ian, this is amazing. I wish I could get more of this.”

The Greek Oregano Business Partnership – KirIan Is Born

The friendship between Ian & Kiriaki had blossomed further, but it was not all about blossoming white flowered pure Greek Oregano. However, both have an entrepreneurial spirit but are quite picky in their own ways. Lots of discussions ensued, and it turned out that a great partnership in many ways, continued to develop. Both have worked at their own businesses, and between them, have a number of years in business with a dedication to providing great service. “Could we explore an idea of bringing great Greek Oregano to Canada and the USA?”

“If my name is on it, only if it is the best,” Kiriaki would say. “And I know we can get better than what you have there that you brought back with you.” And Kiriaki researched producers, called, got samples, negotiated prices, made notes,” and from that, KirIan was born. KirIan might also import/export other products in addition to oregano, but no matter what, they had to be only the best. If we are going to start with oregano, it had better be the best oregano available in the harvest of 2017.

Myths About Greek Oregano

Myth 1: Wild Greek Oregano Is Best

You will come across claims about “wild Greek oregano” and how it is supposedly “better” than cultivated oregano. Science shows that this is not true, and just because it is wild, does not make it better. What makes the best Greek oregano has everything to do with the soil and climatic conditions of that season. The best Greek oregano grows in primarily limestone soil. Whether it is on the side of a mountaintop, or closer to sea elevation, science shows that limestone soil is preferred for increased qualities of health benefits, aroma, and taste. This is one of the reasons that your home grown Greek oregano, as good as it may be, if grown in a rich soil, may not be as bold and beautiful as oregano grown in the limestone soils of Greece.

Myth 2: “Joy” Of The Mountain, So Mountain Grown Is Best

It is true that the Ancient Greeks called Oregano, in English pronounced like “Ree-ga-nee,” and from the words “oros” and “ganos.” Many English speakers have mistranslated this to “Joy Of The Mountain,” but there is a much deeper interpretation. It is not really “joy,” but a much more precise definition would be “brilliance,” but in the sense of brilliance having a supernatural or “godly” brilliance, also bringing happiness or joy. The ancient Greeks believed that Aphrodite put the oregano plant in the mountains, with its brilliant white flowers, to give a sense of “awe” to those who came across it. Awe, of course, can also mean joy… but also something much deeper.

This, however, does not mean that oregano in the mountains is the best quality – indeed, what science shows is that the best quality oregano, with the greatest health compounds and benefits, is that which is grown in hot and dry climatic conditions, and in limestone soil.

KirIan Oregano – The Best You Will Get

We did our homework. We studied the science. We did the tasting. There is something about Greek Oregano that makes things taste better – and it has health benefits as well. Our focus was not on the health benefits primarily (we can let the others fight that out), we wanted to bring to you, the best TASTING and the most AROMA! We already know that an oregano with a bold aroma and taste has a high percent of carvacrol and other health benefits.

What we really wanted to do was bring the “best taste of Greece” to you. And we literally traveled miles and miles (or km and km, if you prefer), to do that.

Environmentally Sustainable Produced

We see a lot of claims about Greek oregano… some are based on myths (see above), but Greece is a small country, and really does not have a lot of resources. What the country has, must be managed well, or it is possible much of those agricultural resources would be lost. It was also important to us to make sure that whatever we bring to North America, has been produced in a sustainable manner.

We were actually kind of surprised – perhaps because at first, we had our own ideas about what might be best based on some previous misconceptions, but in reality, the best quality oregano in aroma and flavor was produced by certified growers! There is no need for us to say, “Wild mountain grown” or for you to believe that such a claim, valid or not, means better quality.

We Know Oregano

This whole experience has lead us to know… that we know more about oregano than many other spice/herb merchants out there. It’s been fun, lots of miles.. and we’ve also sampled some pretty lousy oregano, as well. Yes, even in Athens, Greece, there are some merchants selling stuff that is not really Greek oregano, and we could identify it right away.

Which leads to above… samples sent to Ian Scott’s sons, involved in the culinary arts in the Capital of Canada… “the best damned oregano I have ever tasted!”

Yes, it is. It is KirIan oregano. And it would not even be offered to you unless the ideas of quality of Kiriaki and Ian matched up.

Everything about our product, including the packaging… both environmentally friendly AND with best known protective vapour/moisture barrier available.

We know oregano… we want to bring you only the BEST dried Greek oregano leaf… not powdered and ground up (that stuff loses flavor and aroma quickly) – just pure and awesome.

And we’ve traveled the miles.. km again.. and if you count them up, it’s into the tens of thousands.

And you will enjoy. If you don’t, send what you have not used in the original packing, and we’ll refund your money. Plain and simple.

Our Oregano Is NOT For Everyone

We’ll tell you straight up – if you like to buy your herbs and spices, and don’t really care about the “mmmph” of the flavor, but want to impress your friends for buying cheap stuff at “Bulk Barn” to save money, our product is not for you. And that’s okay. Maybe someday, if you get a chance to really taste and appreciate flavours, you’ll understand why cheap spices, at a bulk food place is not great.

If you are satisfied with buying oregano that might be adulterated with sumac leaf, olive leaf… and you get a little bit of oregano flavour, then again.. our product is probably not for you.

Our Oregano Is For You If….

You love flavour! You love the deep aroma of true Greek oregano!

You want the FULL flavour of pure Greek Oregano… and have an appreciation for this spice and the depth of taste a high quality spice can bring to your work of art snacks and meals.

KirIan Greek Oregano is for those who want that perfection of pure Greek oregano.. the warm oils on their tongue… the excitement of aroma along with the sensations of feta, olive olive oil, greens or meats, in their mouth.

The heat along with the pleasant full bold taste.

We’ve done the work. And the taste tests, the aroma tests, and the legal tests.

When it arrives at your door, like Alex Scott or Suzanne Kelly, you will say, “Damn this is good” or like Paul Mewett, “This is the best oregano I have ever had.”

We know oregano. We want you to have the best, if you are a connoisseur of great food with wonderful herbs and spices.

Not ready to purchase 60 Grams all at once? Then try our less expensive 20 Gram package. Give your taste buds a treat and learn that the oregano you’ve been buying in your grocery store just does not compete with the full-bodied, bold taste and aroma of KirIan Greek Oregano.

What You Will Get:

  • Personally tested Greek oregano that was sought out with hours of study and many miles of travel
  • Bold strong true Greek oregano taste
  • A deep pleasurable aroma that only true Greek oregano can provide
  • Purity. Just 100% pure Greek Oregano

Go ahead. Treat yourself. Pick one and wait for your sense of taste and smell to be pleasured with real pure Greek oregano: