I know I promised all of you a pesto recipe;
but truth be told, there are so many (ok, more like a dozen) photos that need to be edited,
and I haven’t had the time yet.
So, since we’re in the growing mood,
I thought I’d post up a quick lil’ ditty about French tarragon.
Tarragon was once thought to cure snake bites,
a belief that originated from its snake-like root system;
which also gave rise to its scientific name Artemisia dracunculus.
(Dracunculus meaning little dragon.)
Now, why the distinction between nationalities, you say?
Well, floating around in the market are two distinct varieties: French & Russian;
of which the French variety is more superior in flavour, making it a better herb.
Tarragon is said to taste akin to aniseed, which in turn tastes like star anise.
Unfortunately, because it rarely (if ever) flowers, French tarragon is only propagated via cuttings.
Therefore, any seeds that you find of the plant are very likely of the Russian kind.
On the bright side, French tarragon is quite easily available from supermarkets (try Cold Storage or Ben’s Independent Grocer’s @ Publika);
you can use what you need in your dish & plant the remainders!
Mine root quite easily in full sun and moist well drained soil
Some sources will advise you to keep in partial sun if your pot dries up too fast in the afternoons,
so do whichever feels best for you.
Once well established, tarragon prefers full sun and soil which is allowed to dry in between daily waterings.
READ: Skip the dish underneath, and if you’re experiencing rainy weather, best to give the watering can some rest.
Tarragon goes best with poultry, though it is best to use minimally as it can easily overpower your dish;
and is an ingredient in bearnaise sauce.