Thursday, June 6, 2013

Little Dragon Mugwort!

My niece has a favorite saying. What the heck in the world? She was four when she started saying it, so she's had a good two years to beat it into my subconscious.  Now I can't help but say it when something really catches me off guard.  Tarragon is Dragoncello? What the heck in the world?! If you were lucky enough to stop by our Rittenhouse location today, you would've been able to dip into our glorious sorbetto marriage of strawberry and tarragon.  I can honestly say I've only known tarragon as flavor for vinegar.  I couldn't even really explain it's flavor profile.  But the fact that it's Italian name is Dragoncello was just too nuts, and of course I had to do some research.  Derived from the Latin dracunculus, all herbs of this species were historically used for treatment of bites from venomous creatures and mad dogs.  Tarragon in particular was also used to temper toothaches. The flavor is supposedly similar to anise, but I ate an entire piccolo cup's worth today and I hate anise, so I can't say that's accurate. It was a bit intense, so I would recommend pairing it with Fior di Latte for balance.  If you like vinegar, but you're tired of the usual balsamic, red wine, or apple cider, just bruise a small handful of tarragon and let it soak a few hours in a nice white vinegar, strain the leaves, and voila!

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