Tarragon, the Nine-Volt Herb (Sort Of)

Since the hot weather has come on and basically I’ve been left high and dry by chervil, my favorite herb, I’ve since taken to nibbling tarragon, and that would be French tarragon to distinguish it from its tasteless cousin Russian tarragon.  Like chervil, tarragon has more than one flavor dancing around its taste profile, and I suppose that subtlety and je-ne-sais-quoi-ness is what keeps me coming back.  That and the peculiar and mild anesthetic effect it has on my tongue (which, I must add, chervil absolutely lacks).  As I was relishing this tongue numbness the other day, I felt that it vaguely reminded me of the feeling I had as a child after licking a 9-volt battery, so I decided to procure such a battery and see how well memory served.  Well, as a child I must have had a very weak battery, because when I got a fresh 9-volter, which I needed for a water timer anyway, and when I brought it to my tongue, I got a good, strong, and decidedly unpleasant shock.  Nothing even vaguely culinary there.   So please do not go licking batteries in search of the subtleties of tarragon.  Just go and get a plant (very difficult to start from seed, so generally sold as transplants) and enjoy the flavor and the light,pleasant numbing. 
In the photo above you see lots of nice new light green growth.  Our plants at the Noble Rot are getting bushy because they are harvested frequently.  That’s a pretty good practice for most herbs right now, especially chives, thyme, and basil.  Cut them frequently, and you’ll get a bushier, more productive plant, and although they may not have the power of a nine-volt, herbs are the garden’s jolt which keeps us coming back.