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Vinegar, Dragonweed, Terragon, Wormwood

Fresh green tarragon in a beam in an earthenware pot on the old wooden background in rusti

Tarragon, also known as wormwood, is a fascinating plant with a rich history and a wide variety of uses. This summary will give you an insight into the world of tarragon and its importance in different cultures and industries.


Tarragon is an aromatic plant native to Asia and Europe. It belongs to the daisy family and is characterized by its narrow, green leaves and yellow flowers. The scientific name of tarragon is Artemisia dracunculus.


One of tarragon's most notable properties is its intense aroma. The leaves of this plant give off a unique scent reminiscent of anise. This aroma has made tarragon a popular ingredient in cooking, particularly in French and Russian cuisine. In French cuisine, tarragon is often used in sauces such as the famous Béarnaise sauce, while in Russian cuisine it is often found in cucumber salads and pickles.


Aside from its culinary value, tarragon is also valued for its medicinal properties. In traditional medicine, tarragon has been widely used to relieve digestive problems and promote digestion. It has also been used as an anti-inflammatory and for pain relief. In addition, tarragon is also said to have calming properties and can help with insomnia.


Tarragon also has a long history as a medicinal plant. In ancient Greece it was used as a remedy for snake bites, and in the Middle Ages it was believed that it could protect against witchcraft and evil spirits. The plant also has spiritual significance and has been used in some cultures to purify spaces and expel negative energies.


In addition to its use in cooking and medicine, tarragon is also used in the perfume and cosmetics industry. Tarragon essential oil is valued for its pleasant fragrance and is used in various fragrance creations and cosmetic products.


All in all, tarragon is a fascinating plant with a diverse history and uses. Whether in the kitchen, medicine, spirituality or perfumery - tarragon enriches various areas of our lives and remains an interesting and valuable plant.


useful information

While tarragon is a fascinating plant, there are also some whimsical and amusing aspects to this aromatic herbal plant. Here are some quirky facts and stories about tarragon:


1. The name "tarragon" comes from French and literally means "little dragon". It is said that the name is due to the curved shape of the roots, reminiscent of the curved claws of a dragon.


2. Tarragon has earned the nickname "King of Herbs". It was given this nickname because French chef and cookbook author Auguste Escoffier said that tarragon rules the herb palette and is the king of all herbs.


3. Tarragon has a close connection to the famous play "Waiting for Godot" by Irish playwright Samuel Beckett. In the play, one of the main characters is named after the spice. However, tarragon, the character, is not connected to the plant itself, it merely shares the same name.


4. In folk medicine, tarragon has often been used as an aphrodisiac. Tarragon consumption has been believed to increase libido and sexual performance.


5. There is a quirky anecdote from the time of Russia's Tsar Peter the Great. It is said that the tsar was so fond of tarragon that he sent his envoys on trips to fetch tarragon plants from France. He was so enthusiastic about the plant that he wanted to grow it in his garden and use it for his culinary experiments.


6. Tarragon also has a connection to the popular Dr Pepper soda brand. Dr Pepper contains 23 secret ingredients, one of which is said to be tarragon oil. This gives the drink its distinctive taste.


These quirky facts and stories show that tarragon is not just a common culinary herb, but also has an interesting and sometimes quirky side. It's amazing how one simple plant can generate so many stories and anecdotes.

plant family

Artemisia dracunculus

smell and taste

Tarragon has a unique smell and taste that distinguish it from other herbs. Here are descriptions of the smell and taste of tarragon:


Smell: Tarragon has an intense and aromatic scent that is often described as sweet, spicy and aniseed. When the leaves or the tarragon oil are crushed, the fragrance unfolds and exudes a pleasant, slightly earthy note. The odor of tarragon is distinctive and easily recognizable.


Taste: The taste of tarragon is complex and multi-layered. It has a pleasant combination of sweet and tart notes with a subtle hint of anise. Tarragon has a slight bitterness that is not overpowering. It gives dishes a certain freshness and has a subtle spiciness that adds an extra dimension to the taste. The taste of tarragon is often described as refreshing and tangy.


The combination of tarragon's unique smell and taste makes it a popular ingredient in the kitchen, especially in French cuisine. It can enrich salads, sauces, dressings, soups, meat dishes and much more. With its characteristic taste and smell, tarragon helps to give dishes a special touch and enhance their taste.


The history of tarragon goes back a long way and is linked to different cultures and regions. Here is an overview of the historical development of tarragon:


1. Antiquity and the Middle Ages: The use of tarragon can be traced back to ancient times. Already in ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, tarragon was valued as a medicinal plant and used in medicine. The Greek physician Hippocrates is said to have used tarragon to relieve indigestion. In the Middle Ages, tarragon was widespread in Europe and used in monastic medicine.


2. Russia and Eastern European Countries: Tarragon plays an important role in Russian cuisine. Tarragon was brought to Russia by the Mongols in the 15th century and quickly found use in traditional cuisine. It is a key ingredient in the popular Russian sauce "tarragonka" and is also used in pickled cucumbers and pickled vegetables.


3. France: Tarragon has acquired a special meaning in French cuisine. In the 16th century, tarragon was brought to France by an Italian monk named Guillaume Budé. Tarragon quickly caught on with French chefs and became an important part of classic French cuisine. It is used in famous sauces such as Béarnaise sauce and is one of the key ingredients in the Fines Herbes herb mix.


4. Modern Age: In the 19th century, tarragon began to gain popularity and found its way into modern cuisine. It has been mentioned in various cookbooks and gained recognition outside of Europe as well. Tarragon spread to North America and other parts of the world and became part of the global kitchen culture.


Today, tarragon is cultivated in many parts of the world and is widely used as a spice and medicinal plant. Used both fresh and dried, it has found its place in the culinary world. The history of tarragon shows how the use of this plant has evolved over time and how it is valued in different cultures.

Secret ingredient of Baltic cuisine?

Tarragon plays an interesting role in the Baltic cuisine, which includes the countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Although not as prominent as in French or Russian cuisine, tarragon is still used in some traditional dishes. Here are some examples of how tarragon is used in Baltic cuisine:


1. Borscht: In Lithuanian cuisine, tarragon is often used as a spice in the preparation of borscht, a traditional beetroot soup. It gives the soup a subtle spice and a special flavor.


2. Salads and Sauces: Tarragon is also used in various salad dressings and sauces in Baltic cuisine. It can be used in vinaigrettes for green salads or in sauces for meat and fish dishes. Tarragon gives the dishes a refreshing taste and combines well with the other ingredients.


3. Marinades: Tarragon is often used in marinades for meat and fish dishes. It can enhance the flavor of the meat or fish and add a pleasant spiciness. Tarragon marinades are often used for grilled dishes to give them a special flavor.


4. Pickled foods: In Baltic cuisine, various types of vegetables are pickled to make them last longer. Tarragon is sometimes added to pickled cucumbers or other vegetables to give them an extra flavor.


It's important to note that the use of tarragon in Baltic cuisine can vary by region and individual preferences. Not all Baltic cuisine dishes contain tarragon, but it is an interesting ingredient that is used in some traditional recipes and gives dishes a special flavor nuance.

health benefits

  1. In addition to its culinary uses, tarragon also offers some potential health benefits. It contains natural compounds like essential oils, flavonoids, and antioxidants that may have anti-inflammatory and digestive properties. Tarragon can also help relieve menstrual cramps.

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