Tarragon in our A-Z - Cooking Index
Tarragon is a small, shrubby herb, Artemisia dracunculus, in the sunflower family. Two species are cultivated, Russian and French. Leaves of the French variety are glossier and more pungent.
Tarragon is commonly known as a flavoring for vinegar and is used in pickles, relishes, prepared mustards, and sauces. Tarragon also goes well with fish, meat, soups and stews, and is often used in tomato and egg dishes. Tarragon adds distinctive flavor to sauces.
Tarragon has a slightly bittersweet flavor and an aroma similar to anise.
Tarragon is native to southern Russia and western Asia. Today, its primary producer is France.
Tarragon was used by the Greeks as early as 500 BC. The Arabs named it “turkhum” which means dragon probably because they found the taste to be exceptionally strong or because of its serpentine shaped roots. The tradition has been continued by the French who call it “estragon.”