Discussion in 'Herbs' started by bluewolf, May 1, 2011.

  1. bluewolf

    bluewolf Fire Starter

    I know that is technically a spice not a herb,but didn't know where else to put this

    Anyone ever use it?

    What does it taste like?

    I have a recipe that calls for it along with garlic and other stuff

    but I know nothing about it and if it is not "vital" and I don't like it I will omit it

    I am VERY finacky about my seasonings

    Please advise


  2. thebarbequeen

    thebarbequeen Smoking Fanatic

    Since you use the leaves, I believe that makes it an herb. It seems to show up in a lot of French or French-influenced recipes, the flavor dried vs. fresh is more different, compared to some of the other herbs, in my opinion. As far as what it adds, the closest I could get is it can sometimes seem  a bit licorish-y. A little often goes a long way, err on the side of caution.

    If you are near a store where you can get some fresh, or just buy a small amount of dried in bulk, you should try it. It's not one of my favorites, but  I often use it to add a bit of French-ness to a dish, especially shrimp or egg dishes.  I;m sure some of the real chefs will be along soon to give you better info.  Cheers!
  3. It is an herb. Seeds are spices. Leaves are herbs. Tarragon will add a flavor akin to licorice and fennel.

    From Wikipedia.

    Tarragon has an aromatic property reminiscent of anise, due to the presence of estragole, a known carcinogen and teratogen in mice. The European Union investigation revealed that the danger of estragole is minimal even at 100-1,000 times the typical consumption seen in humans.

    Tarragon is one of the four fines herbes of French cooking, and particularly suitable for chicken, lasagna, fish and egg dishes. Tarragon is one of the main components of Béarnaise sauce. Fresh, lightly bruised sprigs of tarragon may be steeped in vinegar to impart their flavor.
  4. bluewolf

    bluewolf Fire Starter

    Well I guess I won't be worring about that then

    I do not like anis/licorice at all can't even stand the smell of it

  5. hardslicer

    hardslicer Smoking Fanatic

    I'm with you Blue.....doesn't sound like something I want my meat to smell or taste like
  6. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I agree with others on the flavor.  Licorice or fennel with a somewhat sweeter flavor.  Excellent with chicken!

    Good luck and good smoking!
  7. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What ever the recipe is I always follow it to the tee the first time. Sometimes there are ingredients in there that you say to yourself " This is going to taste like S#$%, but I still follow it. Then I analyze the flavor & decide what I want to change. Sometimes the ingredient that I thought would really screw the recipe up turns out to be the one thing that makes it unique. I gotta tell you though I think some of the recipes on the internet are made up by people who just want to see if anybody would really try this. Then they sit at home and laugh at anybody who would. Like ME!!
  8. fife

    fife Master of the Pit

  9. squirrel

    squirrel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I love tarragon. I guess it's how you use it. I like that slight anise flavor, but I primarily use it in sauces to compliment meat and use only a small amount. A lemon-tarragon sauce is great with fish, while an orange sauce made with it is great with duck. Also, there are different varieties - Russian and French and you will even see one called Texas Tarragon, which is actually not a tarragon, but in the marigold family. I say don't knock it til you've tried it and remember a little goes a long way.
  10. thebarbequeen

    thebarbequeen Smoking Fanatic

    SQUIRREL!!!!  You're back!!! HUGS!!!! sorry for the little hijack, Bluewolf. Whee, Squirrel's back! Heed her words, Bluewolf, she shares much wisdom. and other stuff.... CHEERS!!!
  11. My father grew tarragon in his herb garden and when he cooked steaks (back then it was a big sirloin on the grill) he would throw a couple of sprigs of tarragon on the grill right before laying down the meat right on top of it. OMG it was good. One of those childhood tastes that haunts you for the rest of your life.  The steak also was slathered with some dijon mustard on one side and salt, pepper, garlic powder and granulated onion.

    Tarragon is actually a pretty subtle flavor. I would say it perfumes the meat more than heavily flavors it. I grow it in my herb garden and while I don't often put it on steaks any more (I prefer just olive oil and salt and pepper on a really good cut, and then some crumbled blue cheese on top when it comes off the grill) I do use it in poultry and fish marinades and in a few variations on potato salad.

    The downside to it is that it is a relatively sparse and slow growing plant. It's not like mint or rosemary or type that will all take over your garden.
  12. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I cannot stand black licorice or anise, but tarragon is so mild I like it on salmon and chicken burgers. 

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