Because there are different varieties of tarragon, its slightly bitter taste is more pronounced in the Russian variety when compared to the French variety. The French variety has a sweeter taste to it; however, the different tarragon varieties have aromas that are anise-like.
The different varieties of tarragon can include French, Russian and Mexican tarragon. French and Russian tarragon are different herb species that belong to the sunflower family. The French variety has leaves that are greener and more aromatic than its Russian counterpart. While French tarragon plants can grow to a height of 2.5 feet, Russian tarragon can grow up to 5 feet.
The Mexican tarragon variety is also known as Mexican marigold mint. This is a perennial plant that has similar taste and aroma profile as the other two tarragon types. It can grow to 3 feet in height.
Tarragon is indigenous to the southern region of Russia and western parts of Asia. Today, France also produces this herb. It is widely used in many English and French dishes. Some uses for tarragon are for sauces, flavored vinegars, meats and stews. Many egg and tomato recipes include this spice too.
The use of the tarragon herb for food dates back to 16th century England. During the 19th century, it was brought to America. There also are medicinal uses for tarragon, such as in homeopathic remedies, according to BHIA Health.