Food Trivia & Food Facts Section

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Artemisia dracunculus

Tarragon is the dried leaves of the herb Artemisia dracunculus. The slender dark-green leaves have a pleasant anise-like flavor and aroma.

Tarragon blends well with other spices. It is used in sauces, especially Bearnaise sauce and tarragon vinegar. In French cuisine it is an integral part of fines herbes and dijon mustard.

Tarragon was used by the Greeks as early as 500 BC. The Arabs named it “turkhum” which means dragon probably because they found the taste to be exceptionally strong or because of its serpentine shaped roots. The tradition has been continued by the French who call it “estragon.”

Tarragon came to France from the plains of Siberia in the 15th century by the Arabs who had been using it since the 13th century.

Tarragon leaves are rich in iodine, mineral salts and vitamins A and C. In the past tarragon was used to prevent scurvy. It is also used as an appetite stimulant and digestive tonic by naturalists.
Florida Dept of Agriculture


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