Liking your lovage

Every once in a while we’ll be making something that calls for celery, like potato salad or chicken soup. I’ll check the fridge only to find out there’s no celery in the crisper drawer. Not to fear, there’s a perennial plant growing in the garden that’s always on stand by for such an eventuality — that plant is my cherished lovage.

I’ve been growing lovage for many years, it such an easy plant to grow. And once it gets established, it seems to grow forever barring any drastic; like letting the chickens roam in the garden in early spring forgetting that the lovage was there. But I digress.

It’s celery flavor is what I go for but it has other uses too, uses I’ve never tried. The herb is stronger tasting than celery but is much sweeter. All parts are edible. Homemakers in the past have used it’s seeds for flavoring breads, cakes and a whole lot of other foods. They’ve even added lovage leaves to cookie dough. A type of candy made from lovage was very popular at one time. The root is edible too.

Want to impress your friends and influence people? Use a lovage stem as a straw when serving Bloody Marys.
Want to impress your friends and go on more dates? Lovage stems are hollow, use them instead of straws when serving Bloody Marys.

My lovage is well over four feet tall and full of blossoms. It is really enjoying the regular rains we’ve been getting this spring. I have it growing in a sandy, well-drained area but my guess it will grow just about anywhere.

Lovage also has medicinal value helping to ease digestive problems.

You don’t hear much about lovage being used in the kitchen very often these days. Maybe back in the olden days it was grown a lot more because it has so many uses.  Then as people became more prosperous they started using store-bought herbs and spices, that’s just a guess on my part.

Chefs nowadays are always looking for that next big thing or that unique taste sensation that will bring them adulation from their patrons and admiration from their peers. I reckon lovage might be that flavor they’re looking for — it’s poised for a comeback in a big way. H-m-m, maybe I’ll start a lovage farm.

Bob