The green and leafy Lovage is a perennial plant. It belongs to the Levisticum genus of plants from the Apiaceae botanical family. This plant has a wide history of cultivation in Europe. Almost all parts of Lovage are used for different purposes, like its roots, seeds, and leaves. Besides, the essential oil obtained from the flowering tops of this plant is also beneficial for different purposes. In European cuisine, this herbal plant has high importance. It is also the native plant of southern Europe.
The word Lovage has been derived from love-ache, which was parsley’s medieval name. Both parsley and Lovage have a high resemblance in terms of properties. Moreover, this herb is also used for medical purposes throughout the world. It has a high impact on swelling, intestinal gas, heartburn, indigestion, sore throat, malaria, headache, menstrual problems, and much more. However, in this article, our prime focus will be on its culinary uses.
What does Lovage Look Like?
Lovage is an herbaceous plant. It has an erect structure and grows for around 6 feet to 8 feet tall. The Lovage plant has a basal rosette of leaves. It is surrounded by stems that are filled with leaves. The shiny and bright yellow-green or green leaves make the plant more attractive.
Moreover, the plant also has flowers that are produced in umbels. The flowers are normally yellow. However, sometimes, the color may also appear a little greenish. The crushed form of Lovage also resembles celery to a great extent. The size of both the flowers and leaves may differ from smaller leaves to larger.
Where does Lovage Come From?
Regionally, Lovage comes from southern Europe. The ancient monarchies mainly developed it in those regions. Lovage was used for medical purposes by the Greeks
in the past. And that was the main reason behind its discovery. While its use for culinary and other purposes began in the 16th century when people began using it for salads. This herb has wide use in Italian cuisines. Besides, botanically, Lovage is from the Apiaceae family. It belongs to the subfamily called Apioideae.
How is Lovage Made?
For making Lovage, your first step should be site preparation. You must search for a spot with full sunlight and moisture richness. You can also grow a Lovage plant in a large container. Once you plant the seed, make sure to water it and take proper care to ensure higher growth. The seed may take around 10 t0 20 days to germinate. So, be patient with it. When the plant reaches to growth stage, you can begin harvesting it. The best time to cut this herb is in the morning when the dew dries. The leaves are aromatic, and washing them may finish the aroma. So, it is better not to wash them. You can use it fresh, dries, or even in the frozen form.
What Does Lovage Taste Like?
Lovage has a high resemblance with celery in both looks and taste. However, along with celery, you will also find a touch of anise and parsley in its taste.
How is Lovage Used in Cooking?
Lovage has a mild taste. So, it will not give a good taste to poultry and fish, etc. However, if you are okay with its mild taste, then it is okay to use it with these items. It has lower calories; therefore, it can be used with all types of cooking techniques. You can add the dried leaves while cooking with the other ingredients. While the fresh leaves should be added at the end because they may get worse when added early. And the flavor may not be added.
What Types of Cuisines Use Lovage?
Lovage has a wide range of use in different cuisines around the world. This herb is normally used with salt, boiled eggs, and asparagus in traditional cuisines of the Netherlands. However, a larger population uses this along with other herbs in salads. It is also used in soups, marinades, salsa, and meat, etc. While in other Mediterranean cuisines, it is also used in alcoholic drinks and teas, etc.
What is a Lovage Substitute?
If you are looking for something to replace Lovage, then we have got few good suggestions for you. As discussed above, this herb has a taste like celery and parsley; therefore, you can use both of these herbs to replace Lovage. So, if you get out of it, you can use them instead.
Where to Buy Lovage?
If you are searching for high-quality Lovage, then we have some good suggestions for you. We have listed some top Lovage items for you. These are provided in the list below.