Lovage or Lovage as is known, is a plant of the family of the Apiaceae . Perennial herb from 1 to 2.5 m in height, it has robust, hollow and grooved stems . It is used as a spice , to flavor dishes, especially in southern and central Europe .
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- 1 Scientific name
- 1 Common names
- 2 Origin
- 3 Features
- 1 Description
- 4 Uses
- 1 Culinary uses
- 2 Medicinal uses
- 5 Cultivation
- 6 Collection
- 7 Sources
The scientific name of the levistic is Levisticum officinale
Levistic, Mount Celery, Mountain Celery, Legústico, Wild Parsley.
Levistic originating in southern Europe .
- Robust, hollow and grooved stems.
- The lower leaves are large, up to 70 x 65 cm with broad, oval or rhomboidal leaflets.
- Bright green hand-shaped leaflets.
- The plant looks more like grown celery, and also gives off a characteristic celery-like aroma.
- The flowers, which emerge from mid to late summer, are small, yellow, and form umbrella-shaped clusters.
- The seeds are flat, oval and with deep grooves.
It is used with onion , garlic , marjoram and celery in a prudent way, since it has a strong flavor and smell. It has a flavor very similar to celery but stronger, as well as the smell, although it is often reminiscent of the blue sweet clover (Trigonella caerulea Ser.), Due to an essential oil composed mainly of phthallid
The leaves can be used to flavor soups, casseroles, sauces and marinades, or lightly cooked as a vegetable . The stems are candied like those of the angelica, and with the sernillas the bread , salty cakes and cookies are seasoned . A bubbly, clear meat broth seasoned with lemon- flavored Levistic sprouts . A sauce made with the chopped leaves and served with boiled white fish . Baked celery flavored seeds in crackers to accompany cheese.
The dried and powdered root replaces the pepper and, preserved in vinegar , is used as a condiment. The seeds taste similar to celery and are used in rabbit stews.The maggi herb is called in some places because it smells and tastes like the concentrated bouillon cubes of the same name.The tender stems and leaves, bleached, are eaten as celery, in salad or accompanying vegetables, and they are also prepared confit.
It is used as a condiment for dishes, especially in southern Europe , it is very possible that its aroma was in some of the dishes of ancient Rome . Its aroma fits very well in the production of flavored vinegar and Young leaves are used to flavor soups and meat dishes and also to marinate meats. In German cuisine it is frequently used to season cooked potato dishes . In Italian cuisine it is used in Liguria to make special tomato sauces containing oregano and rue .
- The root contains an essential oil, coumarin, starch, tannin and vitamin C.
- It is a good stomach diuretic and tonic; facilitates digestion when there is a shortage of gastric juice, as occurs with chronic gastritisand digestive atony.
- The leaves have the same properties, although with less intensity.
- The seeds are carminative (eliminate intestinal gases) and emmenagogues (increase menstrual flow ), like all plants in the Umbelliferae family.
For its cultivation it is important to take into account the following technical instructions:
- Light: a somewhat shady place (partial shade) suits you.
- Soil: You need a soil rich in humus.
- The seedlings are placed with a separation of 40 cm.
- Multiplication is easy from the roots; if seedsare used they should not be older than one year, since after this time they lose the germinative power. If they are sown in summer ( August in the Northern Hemisphere), as soon as they are harvested, they will be successful.
- They are sown in seedbeds, germinating at 2 or 3 weeks.
- The seeds of this perennial herb are sown outdoors in the springfor transplanting in the fall .
- It can be spread by root cuttings.
- To obtain a good root,it should be left for 2 or 3 years without harvesting.
The leaves fresh can be collected throughout the year. The seeds are collected in autumn and the roots at the end, almost in winter . To dry the leaves, the greenest ones are collected, which are not too leathery, older. The roots are harvested by digging them up after two or three years. They are washed and dried in the shade , in a ventilated place. They can also be dried in an oven at 35-40ºC. To facilitate drying, the roots are cut lengthwise. Once dry they are stored in an airtight bottle as they are hygroscopic.