Tarragon – Artemisia Dracunculus
The plant can become about 60 – 100 cm (about 1.5 – 3 feet) tall.
The French tarragon has a lot more flavor than the Russian. This is the one you want to use in your cooking to get the best taste. It has an anise-basil flavor.
The Russian tarragon is much easier to grow and more hardy. This plant has narrower and paler leaves. It has an earthy balsamic flavor which is less pleasant than the French variety.
The Russian variety grows easily from seeds. The French variety does not; you will need to buy the French tarragon as a plant.
Be certain to keep a pot growing in your window sill to make sure you always have fresh leaves when you need it.
Tarragon is essential in French cuisine. It is used in thousands of different recipes in French cooking. The famous sauce “Béarnaise” is spiced with this herb. Tarragon mustard is much used in France.
It is a must have herb in the kitchen. You can use it with so many different dishes.
Use it in tomato dishes or in potato dishes baked in the oven. It is often used to flavor egg dishes as well.
This herb is used in tons of chicken dishes or other dishes with white meat. This herb is also used in fish recipes. An alternative is to use tarragon in sauces served with chicken or fish.
Tarragon is perfect in rice dishes. It tastes good with pasta as well. The next time you cook pasta you may want to cook it in some chicken broth and add a few table spoons of freshly chopped leaves while cooking. The pasta will taste delicious!
Tarragon is not much used in herbalism. It is definitely a cooking herb.
It is a source for Vitamin A and C.
Some studies show promising results that tarragon may lower the insulin and sugar levels of the blood. That is good news for millions of diabetics who love the herb mixed in their dishes.
It has been used for poor digestion.
Today oil from the herb is used commercially in perfumes and detergents.
Tarragon has been strongly associated with dragons. “Dracunculus” means “little dragon” in Latin. Tarragon has been nicknamed the “Dragon’s wort”.
In the “Doctrine of Signatures” it was stated that tarragon was effective against venomous bites.
“Doctrine of Signatures” claims that plants resemble body parts, animals or objects. By understanding what “signature” each herb had they could understand how that the plant could be used an herbal remedy. It was believed the roots of tarragon resembled serpents.