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Is Anyone Familiar w/this Herb?

YummyCubanita Feb 22, 2012 09:09 AM

this is my first post so bear with me.

i went to the market today and picked up an herb called *tara*.. since my name is tara i thought it would be neat to cook with it, but i can't find a single reference to this herb at ALL online.

so i figured who would know better than my fellow chowhounders.

it looks like the tops of green onion... only more rigid and i haven't tasted it yet.

i found it at an ethnic market and that's usually the only place i ever see it.

any help would be appreciated!

i can attach a photo if that would help.


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  1. w
    wyogal RE: YummyCubanita Feb 22, 2012 09:19 AM

    What type of ethnic market, that might help.
    If you can upload a picture, that would be good, too.
    Otherwise, I'd ask the produce manager, or someone at the market.

    1 Reply
    1. re: wyogal
      YummyCubanita RE: wyogal Feb 22, 2012 09:29 AM

      thanks wyogal for the quick response.

      this time i got it at the super king in glassel park. it's primarily armenian, hispanic although a lot of asian people shop there as well. i've seen it before at the jon's market over on vermont which caters mostly to armenian and hispanic as well.

      i tried to ask the guy at super king a little more about the herb, but if you've ever been to that market, you know it's nearly impossible to get anyone to speak to you lol.

      so i just bought it. it was only .99 cents a bunch so i figured what the hell.. at worst maybe i can feed it to my rats.

      well, once i know what it is.

      i like these sorta culinary adventures though with new ingredients, but i don't even know where to start!

      i'll take a pic of it in like an hour, i have a writing deadline in 30 minutes.

      thanks again & stay tuned for the pic!

    2. Caroline1 RE: YummyCubanita Feb 22, 2012 10:06 AM

      hmmmm... When you rub the leaves between your fingers, do they release a sort of licoricey aroma? If the answer is yes, then there's a very high chance that "tara" is a colloqiuial name for tarragon. Tarragon is very popular in Armenia (and that general region of the world) for seasoning teas and soft drinks, as well as for cooking. This would be my best guess.

      When and if you find out for sure, tell us, please! '-)

      10 Replies
      1. re: Caroline1
        YummyCubanita RE: Caroline1 Feb 22, 2012 01:27 PM

        it's not tarragon. i'm familiar with that herb. i did taste it, and it tastes like leeks or chives. the stems sorta feel like that of a leek. i'm not sure if the picture captured it well enough for anyone to help me figure it out.

        basically it looks like blades of overgrown grass or stiff green onion tops. they're flat and not hollow like green onions are. it tastes like leek/chives and sorta smells herbaceous like grass.

        i'm not sure what they are, but i bet it would taste OK in a potato soup or something that would call for leeks. i wish i knew what these were.


        1. re: YummyCubanita
          wyogal RE: YummyCubanita Feb 22, 2012 01:33 PM

          huh. interesting.

          1. re: YummyCubanita
            rose water RE: YummyCubanita Feb 22, 2012 01:34 PM

            Lucky! If it's the same thing I'm thinking about, we have that in Iran, and it's called "tarreh" in Persian. In the family of leeks, scallions, chives. People serve it up on plates of mixed herbs served alongside meals, or put it in ghormeh sabzi, a mixed herb stew that's pretty much the universal favorite dish among Iranians.

            1. re: rose water
              YummyCubanita RE: rose water Feb 22, 2012 03:05 PM

              awesome, i knew this would be the place to find out.. lol

              yeah, i would definitely say it's in the leek/chive family. i did a quick google search of 'tarreh' and i pulled up a few hits. the markets here always spell it tara.

              i've been seeing this herb for months and never bought it because i could never find any info on it... so now i know.

              thanks guys!!

          2. re: Caroline1
            YummyCubanita RE: Caroline1 Feb 22, 2012 01:33 PM

            actually i should add.. i don't *think* it's tarragon. i really don't know what it is, but it doesn't taste like tarragon..

            1. re: YummyCubanita
              wyogal RE: YummyCubanita Feb 22, 2012 01:42 PM

              not tarragon, but I bet rose water hit on it, terreh.

              1. re: wyogal
                Caroline1 RE: wyogal Feb 22, 2012 06:12 PM

                Yup. Sounds like rose water hit a home run. Interesting! Using rose water's "ghormeh sabzi" in a recipe search, I found the following recipe that says "tareh" is garlic chives.


                The bonus is we also learn that fenugreek is called "shanbelileh" in Farsi. Who knew?

                Good show!

                1. re: Caroline1
                  rose water RE: Caroline1 Feb 23, 2012 03:10 AM

                  I knew! Now if only we could find fresh tarreh and shambelileh here with 1/2 the flavor of the stuff you find in Iran....

                  1. re: rose water
                    Caroline1 RE: rose water Feb 23, 2012 03:53 AM

                    Wishful thinking! And I'll wish right along with you. <sigh>

                  2. re: Caroline1
                    LMAshton RE: Caroline1 Jan 20, 2013 04:39 PM

                    If it's garlic chives, they're really easy to grow like chives. If you have a root end, stick it in the soil and it'll multiply. You'll have enough to share in a year or two. :)

            2. Shrinkrap RE: YummyCubanita Feb 22, 2012 06:18 PM

              I agree it looks like the leaves of some allhttps://www.google.com/search?q=chinese+chive.... Like leaves of green garlic or Chinese chives

              , or leaves of elephant garlic. Try posting in the garden forum, or gardenweb.com, kitchen or herb garden.

              1. mamachef RE: YummyCubanita Feb 23, 2012 06:38 AM

                I didn't read all the way through but those look a whole lot like garlic chive to me.

                1. butzy RE: YummyCubanita Feb 23, 2012 07:07 AM

                  They are garlic chives, I agree with mamachef

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: butzy
                    wyogal RE: butzy Feb 23, 2012 07:11 AM

                    Rose water nailed it upthread.

                    1. re: wyogal
                      mamachef RE: wyogal Feb 23, 2012 07:29 AM

                      Thanks. I don't always read through before I get all excited about knowing something and just jump on in there. It's happened before; it'll happen again undoubtedly.

                      1. re: mamachef
                        wyogal RE: mamachef Feb 23, 2012 07:30 AM


                  2. t
                    Trevoru RE: YummyCubanita Oct 19, 2012 12:03 PM

                    From the description you give these are the leaves of a small Iranian leek. In English, the name is often written phonetically as "tarreh" or "tareh". The "--eh" at the end of the word is pronounced as you would pronounce the letter "a" in abc, hence what you have seen written as "tara". From your description it is definitely not tarragon.
                    Many people say that it is the same as garlic chives, but I do not believe this to be true. The botannical name for garlic chives is allium tuberosum. As far as I can ascertain tarreh is allium ampeloprasum var. persicum. The leaves of tarreh are more erect and wider (sometimes 1cm or more) than those of garlic chives and look much more like leek leaves in minature. Iranians call our leeks "tarreh faranghi".
                    Tarreh is widely grown in Iran and you can see fields and fields of it there. It is harvested like chives or garlic chives and can be cut many times in one season. It is not readily available in the West except in Iranian and other specialist shops. For this reason chives, garlic chives, leek leaves and the green parts of onion, etc., are often substituted for tarreh in Persian cooking here. The results are acceptable but never quite so good, however.
                    Hope this is helpful.

                    1. t
                      twins4me RE: YummyCubanita Jan 20, 2013 03:39 PM

                      It is Tareh. It is a type of garlicky onion chive. It's delicious and used in a lot of Persian and Afghan cooking. It's really good!

                      1. splatgirl RE: YummyCubanita Jan 21, 2013 04:24 AM

                        THIS is why I love CH.
                        Plus I get to add ghormeh sabzi to my must make list!

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