Tarragon, an herb from the sunflower family, is pungent and aromatic with licorice or anise-like flavors. There are many varieties of Tarragon, but for the best culinary herbs French Tarragon is most often used. It has the most fragrant, pungent, and lingering flavors of the tarragon varieties.
One of the four herbs in the French fines herbes, tarragon is considered a workhorse spice. It is used in a variety of dishes as a background spice, though a few dishes like French Béarnaise sauce, herbal butters, and white wine vinaigrettes feature tarragon as the central flavor.
It works well with poultry, seafood, fruits, eggs, and veal; and vegetables like artichokes, carrots, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, spinach, and tomato. Use sparingly, as the flavors can dominate a dish if used in excess.
Tarragon is one of few herbs that retains its full flavor when dried. Properly stored, dried tarragon leaves are a hearty spice, maintaining freshness for approximately six months before flavors begin to fade.
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