LOVAGE

Lovage (Levisticum officinale) is an aromatic herb of the carrot or parsley family and related to celery, and the whole plant has a celery aroma.  The plant is native to the mountains of southern Europe and has been used since ancient times as both a food and a medicine. At one time lovage was the most widely cultivated medicinal herb. It is not nearly as popular and well known as it once was.

The plant has thick, erect, hollow stalks and the the shiny leaves are dark green and shaped somewhat similar to celery. Lovage leaves have a sweet celery-like flavor and are used to flavor soups and stews or in fresh salads.  The stalks can be cooked as a vegetable and may also be candied like those of Angelica.

An essential oil from the plant is used to flavor liqueurs and in perfumes. The 1/2 inch seeds resemble caraway seeds, and are used in confectionary and were sometimes pickled like capers.
 

 

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