Botanical name:Artemisia dracunculus ▪ Family name: Asteraceae
Corresponding to its species name, a common term for the plant is "dragon herb."
French tarragon is the variety generally considered best for the kitchen, but is difficult to grow from seed. It is best to cultivate by root division. It is normally purchased as a plant, and some care must be taken to ensure that true French tarragon is purchased. A perennial, it normally goes dormant in winter. It likes a hot, sunny spot, without excessive watering
Major producers: Eastern Europe, Central Asia, India
Tarragon is one of the four fines herbes of French cooking, and particularly suitable for chicken, lasagna, fish and egg dishes. Tarragon is one of the main components of Béarnaise sauce. Fresh, lightly bruised sprigs of tarragon may be steeped in vinegar to impart their flavor.
Cis-Pellitorin, an isobutylamide eliciting a pungent taste, has been isolated from Tarragon plant.
In Slovenia, tarragon is used as a spice for sweet pastry called potica.
Tarragon has an aromatic property reminiscent of anise, due to the presence of estragole, a known carcinogen and teratogen in mice. The European Union investigation revealed that the danger of estragole is minimal even at 100-1,000 times the typical consumption seen in humans.
Like oregano, the leaves of tarragon are considred to be a source of 'warmth forces', and have been discribed as 'highly cordial to the head, heart and liver'. Tarragon was once believed to cure bites and stings from venomous insects and other small, belligerent creatures.
It is available by 50g, 100g, and 500g.