11 Things To Know About Tarragon

Tarragon is an aromatic herb that thrives in the cool uplands Cavite weather of Tagaytay. Cultivated mainly as a culinary herb, tarragon also has a number of medicinal properties and health benefits.

There are a lot of resources found online on just about anything you need to know about tarragon, as well as books on herb gardening and haute cuisine that mention this popular perennial herb.

We’ve gone so far as to compile some of the more essential items here on Tagaytay Living, so here are 11 things you need to know about tarragon.

Growing Tarragon

1. Tarragon grows to about two feet tall and likes moderate sun, so put it in a place where it gets plenty of morning sun, and shade by noon or afternoon. It grows best in pots with rich loamy soil (drawing moisture from it), but make sure the pots drain well (by lining gravel or coarser stones at the bottom of your pot). Mulching is also good as it helps retain soil moisture and prevents weeds from growing.

2. Water your tarragon plant regularly, but let the soil go almost dry between watering, so depending on how large a pot or container you have, you need to take note of how often your herb needs more water. Take care so as not to overwater your tarragon plant.

3. Tarragon is rather hardy, comparably low-maintenance, and doesn’t have much in the way of serious plant diseases. In fact, the herb’s aroma is disliked by most insect pests, so they make for great companion plants for just about any other vegetable or herbs you’d like to grow. It is believed that tarragon enhances the growth and flavor of crops grown with it. Eggplants grow particularly well with tarragon.

4. Tarragon can be grown indoors as houseplants, which makes it ideal for container gardening enthusiasts. If you grow them indoors, they best thrive under fluorescent lighting, and gentle fanning (via an electric fan/oscillating fan).

5. Tarragon propagates mostly via its rhizomes– or its root network– so when it’s fully grown, you can break it out of its pot, divide it, then replant the divisions back into new pots, where you can fill it with new potting soil for more tarragon to grow. The root systems are shallow, making them ideal for water conservation efforts. If you’re planting them in a larger bed, the divisions should be at about 18 inches apart, allowing for ideal growth.

Cooking with Tarragon

6. Along with parsley, chives, and chervil, tarragon is one of the four fines herbes of classic French cooking. They release their flavor shortly when finely chopped and cooked, so the combination of these four are used to season certain delicate chicken, fish, or egg dishes (omelettes) in French haute cuisine.

7. Tarragon is also a popular salad herb among foodies. In his 1949 Fireside Cookbook, renowned chef and author James Beard dubs tarragon as “the most pleasant salad herb”, and encourages readers to use it fresh as much as possible.

Aside from tarragon, other favorite salad herbs mentioned by Beard in his book include chervil (“delicate and subtle”), dill (great for salads with cucumber or cabbage), and sweet basil (“a natural complement to tomatoes”).

8. Aside from incorporating them in omelettes and in salads, tarragon (as well as parsley or chives), can also be used to season grilled steak.

9. One of the most popular dishes online using tarragon is tarragon chicken. Also known as “hunter’s chicken”, there are versions of this humble dish from France (which uses chasseur sauce), Italy (where it is known as chicken cacciatore), and the United Kingdom (which uses mustard).

Health Benefits of Tarragon

10. Tarragon is rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants that help promote good health. Tarragon is good as

  • An appetite stimulant and digestive aid.
  • As a toothache remedy, as well as a remedy for sore gums (when chewed).
  • As a mild sedative, helping relieve anxiety and stress.
  • An aid to better heart health
  • A supplement for women suffering from suppressed menstruation (but should not be taken while pregnant or nursing).
  • An aid for better eye health and function.
  • An aid for helping build muscle mass.

11. Preparing Tarragon Tea: use around a teaspoon of fresh tarragon for every 8 to 10 ounces of hot water. Steep the leaves for about 5 minutes. Pour into cup and sweeten with honey as desired. For best health benefits, drink a cup in the morning, and another before going to bed.

Tarragon in Tagaytay

Tarragon is a fairly common culinary herb found in Tagaytay, and you can find them sold at many popular restaurants, as well as along main roads, or at the public markets.

Nana’s Farm Tagaytay grows tarragon and other herbs from its property in Amadeo, Cavite.  Interested parties that wish to purchase bamboo, herbs, and succulents at Nana’s Farm may contact them at:

Nana’s Farm Tagaytay
#25 Crisanto M. De Los Reyes Ave (Tagaytay-Amadeo Road),
Amadeo, Cavite
Phone: (+63 999) 888.6363
View Nana’s Farm PH on Airbnb.
Visit the official website.
Visit Nana’s Farm PH on Facebook and Instagram

Tarragon plants arranged in pots at a farm in Tagaytay.

Tarragon plants in pots from Nana’s Farm Tagaytay.

Sources

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