What Does Tarragon Taste Like – Different Varieties and How Much to Use?

A herb, tarragon is the most commonly added with certain other herbs and spices. It’s also a part of many sauces, dressings, and soups. Ultimately, the more you use tarragon, the more recipes you’re bound to add it to. Because, after all, the flavor is very pleasing to the taste buds – anise-like, floral, and robust. So let’s find out more about what does tarragon taste like.

But first, how good is it for the health really? Well, the nutrients include iron, potassium, manganese, low calories, and low carbs. Plus, tarragon improves sensitivity to body insulin, reduces inflammation, has antibacterial properties, and ultimately the herb makes your dishes tasty and spicy.

What Is Tarragon?

A perennial herb, tarragon grows on slender, tall stems. These stems often give rise to glossy leaves along with edible white, green, or yellow flowers.

Another term used for tarragon is estragon. And originally, it was cultivated, thousands of years ago, in Siberia. As of today, tarragon is grown in the sunny and dry regions of the Northern hemisphere (spanning from the United States to Asia).

Now, What Does Tarragon Taste Like?

No doubt, the taste of tarragon is incredibly unique. The touch of sweetness and bitterness this herb has to offer is slightly reminiscent of vanilla and licorice. It’s a mix of both warm and cool with a minty taste, much like the flavor of eucalyptus.

The taste of tarragon consists of odd flavors, that’s for sure. On top of that, you have French tarragon, Russian tarragon, and Mexican tarragon (more on that later). But all three give off a distinct taste that bodes very well with fish and poultry. Heard of tarragon chicken, haven’t you?

The fresh licorice-like, mild flavor of tarragon with chicken tastes really good. But then keep in mind that this particular herb, due to its strong flavor, tends to overpower the recipe. And even more so if you’re adding fresh tarragon. So use in moderation – add only a teeny-tiny amount first and then depending on how it tastes, add more.

As for fish, choose fish with high-fat content, such as salmon.

The most unfortunate part about tarragon is that it’s prone to losing its delicious flavor once dried. This means adding more than you usually do or are supposed to (twice as much) in order to achieve the desired results.

What Does Tarragon Taste Like – The 3 Different Varieties

To enjoy its distinct taste, use strong-flavored fresh tarragon in moderation for your recipes. The aromatic herb is the most likely to overpower your dish in case you don’t happen to be too excessive with its usage. On the other hand, the dried version of tarragon is far less intense in terms of flavor. So you can use dried tarragon generously.

And now let’s find out the 3 different types of tarragon and how each one tastes…

French Tarragon

The most common variety, French tarragon is the most flavorful. But then it also takes the longest time to grow and is the most difficult to cultivate. That’s because the flowers of French tarragon don’t produce seeds.

Russian Tarragon

Mild-flavored Russian tarragon doesn’t seem like the most favorable choice for recipes. Even though it’s the most affordable and easiest to cultivate.

Mexican Tarragon

Not many even know that Mexican tarragon exists – that’s how little-known it is. As for its flavor, that’s very much like anise. This means Mexican tarragon has a flavor that’s more like its French variety than Russian.

French Cuisine and Tarragon

If you ask me, tarragon is the most commonly included in French recipes. It is indeed a popular herb in French cuisine, such as bearnaise sauce. The herbs used for this particular recipe include chervil, parsley, chives, and tarragon.

How to Use Tarragon the Right Way

Firstly, be mindful about how much tarragon you include in your recipe. This is the best approach to using this strong-flavored herb the right way. Irrespective of the variety of tarragon you’re using – French, Russian, or Mexican – the taste is powerful and scent aromatic. So avoid using too much tarragon to prevent the ruination of the true flavor of the other ingredients in your dish.

What you might also want to know is that tarragon has poor heat resistance. This means the taste is most likely to dissipate during the cooking process. The solution? Add tarragon to your recipe in the end. That way, the strong aroma and flavor are well-preserved.

Now let’s talk about using dried tarragon. This one is not as strong as its fresh version. No wonder fresh tarragon is the most commonly used for all kinds of recipes. But with dried, use twice the amount. So in case fresh tarragon is not available for some reason, then go with the dried variety. Just make sure to double the amount.

How to Store Tarragon the Right Way

Needless to say, you’re going to end up using only a small quantity of tarragon for your dish, as you should. In that case, you may have plenty left to store. Now if you don’t store this herb the right way, its freshness is surely bound to deteriorate. However, slow down that process simply by doing the following…

  • Separate into sections the whole batch of fresh tarragon.
  • Now pack up each section using plastic wrap for freezer storage.
  • And whenever you want to use it, simply just take out one small part and use directly (no need to defrost).

Conclusion

Tarragon is very commonly used for all sorts of delightful recipes. After all, this popular herb has an incredibly appealing taste. But if you’re a first-timer, then it’s only natural to be confused about what does tarragon taste like in dishes and how much to use.

Fresh tarragon is to be added sparingly because that’s how strong-flavored it is. The rich anise-like flavor of tarragon with its powerful aroma is the ultimate description of how it tastes. So I hope you now understand that and some more information about tarragon I thought you might want to know – all that is discussed in this article.

Leave a Comment