Also famous as estragon, tarragon is a herb. This herb is one of the perennial herbs that belong to the family of sunflowers. Tarragon is easily available around the world. However, few regions like North America and Eurasia are known for the production of this species. Tarragon has high culinary usage, but its medical purposes are also very common because this herb has some exceptional health benefits.
One sub-specie of this plant is majorly cultivated for its leaves which produces tarragon herb. It has few varieties such as Russian, Spanish, and Mexican, etc. The taste of tarragon may vary based on its type. This herb is used as a key ingredient in a wide range of cuisines around the world. However, its use also depends based on its form, i.e., dried and fresh forms. And both forms are widely used worldwide. In this article, we will discuss everything about this species. The details are provided in the following paragraphs.
What does Tarragon Look Like?
The tarragon leaves are highly glossy and skinny. The normal size of its leaves is 2 cm to 8 cm in length. While its width is 2 mm to 10 mm. tarragon has lanceolate leaves. Moreover, its plant grows around 4 feet to 5 feet. It has slender branches filled with flowers. The tiny capitula flowers grow around 2 mm to 4 mm in diameter. Each capitulum contains around 40 florets. These florets have either greenish-yellow or complete yellow color. Additionally, the tarragon plant also produces seeds. Its seeds are generally sterile, while few other types also produce viable seeds.
Where does Tarragon Come From?
Tarragon comes from western Asia and southern Russia. It is a native plant of those regions. However, in the modern world, this herb is largely produced in France. The French variety of tarragon is the most used, praised, and high-quality product. With time, the use of Spanish and Russian tarragon has largely reduced. People prefer its French variety more than the other ones. Besides, this herb is also produced in other countries in North America and Eurasia, as discussed above. While botanically, this herb comes from a perennial herb that belongs to the sunflower family.
How is Tarragon Made?
Unlike other herbs such as basil and parsley, etc., tarragon has a little different cultivation method. Its cultivation varies based on its type. The French tarragon is not produced through seeds. Rather, you need to propagate it through root division. Moreover, for the Russian variety, you can use seeds to grow. But once the plant grows, the further process becomes the same. You should begin snipping off the newer leaves with light-green color. After removing the shoots, you must wash them and then pat dry. Afterward, remove the leaves. Fresh tarragon leaves are ready for use. But you can also dry and store the leaves in any jar for extended use.
What Does Tarragon Taste Like?
People often have inconsistent views about the taste of tarragon. Some people love this herb, while others hate it. Their views about its taste vary based on their likes and dislike of a licorice taste. But most people also argue that this herb gives an anise-like taste. Tarragon gives a great combination of mint, vanilla, eucalyptus, and pepper, distinguishing it from other licorice-tasted spices such as fennel.
How is Tarragon Used in Cooking?
You can use the dry and fresh tarragon leaves for cooking. While using fresh leaves, make sure to wash and pat dry them and remove the stems before adding them to your recipe. The fresh leaves can easily bruise. So, be careful while using them. You can also add the raw leaves at the end when the food is cooked. While for the dried form, you can add it with the other spices.
What Types of Cuisines Use Tarragon?
Tarragon is used in different cuisines. However, its use in French cuisines is higher than other cuisines. It is used in various dishes, including chicken, bearnaise sauce, fish, eggs, and more.
What is a Tarragon Substitute?
You can substitute tarragon with both fresh herbs and other licorice-tasting spices. Few substitutes are fennel fronds, chervil, anise seeds, dill, marjoram, and basil.
Where to Buy Tarragon?
Are you searching for high-quality tarragon? If yes, then stop searching because we have few good suggestions for you. We have listed few best tarragon products for you. These are dried leaves, as they are harder to find than fresh ones. We have listed these products below.
- HQOExpress | Organic Tarragon Leaf | 5 oz. Chef Jar
- The Spice Way Tarragon Leaves – ( 1.5 oz ) dried herb good for French cooking sauce
- Simply Organic Tarragon Leaf, Cut & Sifted, Certified Organic | 0.11 oz | Artemisia dracunculus L.
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