Wednesday, April 20, 2011

False Tarragon Conspiracy!

Much to my dismay I recently discovered that I had been sold Russian Tarragon. I was suspicious of my tarragon because I noticed that unlike my basil and chives, which had flavor from the time they were wee little sprouts, my tarragon tasted like nothing at all. I thought maybe it just needed some time to grow, so for the last several weeks I have nurtured and loved it along with my other plants. When it was about 5 inches tall and still had no flavor I started to get suspicious & turned to google for answers. This is where I discovered that there are two types of tarragon. The one we all know and love, French Tarragon, is a very finicky plant and does not seed or reproduce well. However, its flavorless but visually identical cousin, Russian Tarragon, seeds like a weed. So, when you buy seed packets of Tarragon, 99% of the time it's the wrong variety. Burpee doesn't care that it's selling you a weed, it's just happy to turn a profit. So this is my warning to anyone hoping to grow this herb at home. Only buy transplants, not seeds. Before you buy the transplant, tear a piece of the leaf off and taste it! If it tastes like nothing, don't buy it! My beautiful well loved little weeds ended up in the garbage. So sad.

RIP Russian Tarragon

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