Tarragon vinegar is pretty much the homemade vinegar that has the tarragon plant’s herbs in it. Its use originated in France, but it has become a significant part of Western kitchens. Tarragon vinegar is primarily used for flavoring meat and fish dishes, as well as some vegetables.
While the taste and kick of tarragon vinegar is amazing, some might not overly like it so much and would want to get substitutes.
What is the best substitute for tarragon vinegar? The perfect substitute for tarragon vinegar is white wine vinegar. This is essentially vinegar that has been used to flavor any variant of white wine available. It might not have the same strong taste as tarragon vinegar (especially when the latter has been allowed to stay for long), but white wine vinegar is an excellent addition that can flavor your dishes.
The fact that it works for pretty much the same dishes as tarragon vinegar makes it an even more ideal substitute.
An Overview of Tarragon Vinegar
Many people know the tarragon plant by another name – estragon. It is a member of the sunflower family, and it originates from North America. Primarily, its use in vinegar came from France. Tarragon vinegar is essentially vinegar that has been flavored with tarragon. It is an excellent way to season dishes, and it is pretty versatile in the kitchen.
There’s no definitive taste for tarragon vinegar. You can flavor yours however you like to bring out your desired taste – from the mild to the intense. Primarily, the taste depends on how long the tarragon plant was allowed to flavor with the vinegar.
Tarragon vinegar is one of the many kitchen ingredients that come with several substitutes and alternatives. So, you can really be free when it comes to getting something to stand in for it. Below, we’ll look at some of the ideal options and how well they work for them.
Why Replace Tarragon Vinegar?
- Taste differences: While tarragon vinegar can vary in taste, some people don’t generally like it at all. It’s understandable. If you’re such a person, you can take advantage of various substitutes.
- Too much time to flavor: If you’d like to get tarragon vinegar that has a strong taste, you’ll have to wait for months. In that case, you might want to get a substitute if you don’t have so much time.
- Vinegar sensitivity: Though not familiar, some people do have sensitivities to vinegar. In some cases, these sensitivities could be borderline allergic. So, it would help if you had something to stand in as you flavor your dishes.
Options for Tarragon Vinegar Substitutes
Best Overall Substitute for Tarragon Vinegar: White Wine Vinegar
White wine vinegar is the best substitute for tarragon vinegar for several reasons. Most obvious is that white wine vinegar is perhaps the simplest and most readily available form of vinegar. White wine vinegar works pretty much the same way as tarragon vinegar. It is an excellent addition to meals, and you can use it to make some specialized dishes too. The taste is quite similar to that of tarragon vinegar.
Note that this is essentially vinegar made from white wine. It could be any form of white wine available. Then, depending on why you will need the vinegar in question, you could add some dried tarragon leaves to the mix as well.
If you’re looking to harness the power of white wine vinegar fully, then you might want to make it the dried one. Dried white wine is very versatile, as you can use it to add more of an acidic flavor to plates of pasta and risottos. You can also use this form of vinegar to cook mushrooms and spice up your fish or poultry dishes.
White wine vinegar will easily blend well with meat and fish dishes. It can take out the meaty or fishy smell, and you can add it to your vegetables as well.
Keep in mind that you want to select dry white vinegar. This way, you can avoid most of the sweetness. However, if you find a white vinegar variant whose taste you like, feel free to try it out. If you want to make your chicken crispy, sparkling wine vinegar is an excellent option.
You also want to stay away from full wines with intense flavors. They don’t taste much like the original tarragon vinegar, so they might not be ideal substitutes.
Best Substitute for Vinegar-Sensitive People: Lemon Juice
If you’ve got vinegar sensitivities, lemon juice is the perfect substitute for tarragon vinegar. The use of lemon juice in seasoning has become especially popular in Europe, as the ingredient helps provide more flavor to pretty much everything. Even tea or water could use some lemon infusion to encourage people to take more.
You can also use lemon juice in sweet desserts and savory dishes. It works for fried dishes as well – particularly poultry and fishes. In mild quantities, lemon juice works wonders for salads too.
All in all, lemon juice is an ideal choice if you don’t want the whole acidic aftertaste that vinegar brings.
Best Substitute in Roasted Dishes: Champagne Vinegar
Most of the champagne vinegar we see is made of grapes from chardonnay or pinot noir. This type of vinegar comes with a distinct base with bacteria. From there, the vinegar is fermented and can take in some acetic acid.
Champagne vinegar is much lighter in taste than other wine vinegar variants. You can be consumed much easier, and it doesn’t have much of that acidic aftertaste. The light, flavorful texture makes it the perfect choice for people who want something different from the usually strong vinegar taste.
Champagne vinegar is an ideal seasoning choice for roasted dishes – fishes, glaze, meats, etc. It also works well for vegetables and tomato sauces.