Tarragon
- Origin
Wild tarragon grows in North America on the territory between Alaska and Texas. However, French cooks were the first to appreciate its gastronomic qualities. In Middle Ages it became an important ingredient of Arabic cuisine along with pepper, ginger, saffron and nutmeg.
Nowadays is still widely used in France. Same goes for Central and South Europe. There are two major tarragon varieties namely French (also known as German or Dutch) and Russian tarragon. French tarragon has a dark green colour and smooth leaves. It is believed to be the most suitable for cooking, but it cannot be grown from a seed. Russian tarragon has light green leaves and weaker scent and it can be grown from a seed. One variety of tarragon grows in Poland. It differs from the other two not only in colour, taste and scent, but also chemical composition.
Tarragon is also believed to be a dietary herb. That is one if its specific qualities.

- Flavour
Tarragon leaves have a pleasant scent and taste with a hint of anise flavour. Due to its scent, tarragon can be used both fresh and dry. Tarragon leaves contain carotene and ascorbic acid as well as proteins and essential oil.

- Usage
Fresh or dry tarragon can be added to soups, lamb, tomato sauces and omelettes. Tarragon is also used when cooking prawns and other seafood. It is great to add some tarragon when stewing carrots. The herb works well with beef steaks and cauliflower. As a spice tarragon is very popular among Spanish, Italian and Greek cooks. It is also widely used in Hungarian cuisine. It makes a great addition to chicken cooked in white wine. The herb should be added to hot dishes during cooking.

- Amount
Normally 25-50g of fresh tarragon and 2-3g of tried one are enough for one dish.

- Combinations and substitutes
Tarragon combined with celery and parsley can be added to almost any soup.

- Storage
Dried tarragon should be kept in a tightly closed glass container in a dark place.

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