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  • Lovage?

    Does anyone grow lovage? I planted some last year as from the description of the flavour I thought I would like it in cooking. The plant grew really well and still seems to be growing strongly through the winter, it is about 2ft tall and I understand it will get much taller. I harvested some and made lovage and potato soup and I have to admit I was disappointed in the flavour, it didnít seem to taste of very much and had a strong bitter edge. Iím wondering if it will be better in the spring, or perhaps only the very young leaves are good to eat? The taste was so different to what I was expecting that Iím slightly paranoid the plant I have is not lovage, although it does look like it...

  • #2
    I've never grown it, and seeing as it's described as tasting like celery only stronger, I can't see Mr Snoop liking it.
    I've seen on the web that the leaves taste bitter after flowering, plus older leaves can be bitter. The advice seems to be be: only use young leaves and be sparing when using them.
    Living in north-east Spain, where the sun is too hot, the rain too torrential, the hail too big, the wind too windy and the snow too deep.

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    • #3
      I have a big clump of lovage and its self seeding some distance away too.

      An old thread https://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/gr...one_63010.html

      I "think" I read recently that the young, emerging shoots are good to eat.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Snoop Puss View Post
        I've never grown it, and seeing as it's described as tasting like celery only stronger, I can't see Mr Snoop liking it.
        I've seen on the web that the leaves taste bitter after flowering, plus older leaves can be bitter. The advice seems to be be: only use young leaves and be sparing when using them.
        Perhaps that’s what I did wrong, although I did think the leaves I harvested were fairly young, they weren’t the very youngest. Perhaps I’ll give it one more chance, but it’s such a big plant it will need to be pretty good to justify its place.

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        • #5
          I really like lovage, but you do have to be sparing with it. My Polish neighbour says at home it's called the Maggi plant, because it's used as the base flavour for their stock.
          http://mudandgluts.com - growing fruit and veg in suburbia

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          • #6
            Originally posted by veggiechicken View Post
            I "think" I read recently that the young, emerging shoots are good to eat.
            Found it!! https://scottishforestgarden.wordpre...vage-actually/

            Scots Lovage, the "other lovage", will be on my grow list this year as I picked up some seeds at the seed swap on Saturday. Funny how it all comes together.

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            • #7
              I've grown it for a few years, and really like it, although it's not the longest-lived plant. I put the leaves in salads and sandwiches.

              I would say the moment it establishes itself in the spring it's ready to take a few leaves.

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              • #8
                I've got Lovage seeds to sow this year. I tried growing celery (slugs got it), self blanching Celery (Too stringy) Celariac (Golf ball sized),kintsai (short lived but tasty)and I still have leaf celery but fear it will run to seed in the spring.

                Lovage seemed the natural progressive step to take!
                My Majesty made for him a garden anew in order
                to present to him vegetables and all beautiful flowers.- Offerings of Thutmose III to Amon-Ra (1500 BCE)

                Diversify & prosper


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                • #9
                  Be careful where you plant it! Grows tall (3'-4') and spreads but I like it as an ornamental edible. Bright shiny leaves emerging right now, grows tall within the year with large green/yellow flower heads, then dies back to overwinter.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TrixC View Post
                    Does anyone grow lovage? I planted some last year as from the description of the flavour I thought I would like it in cooking. The plant grew really well and still seems to be growing strongly through the winter,
                    Mine doesn't carry on but dies off during the autumn.
                    Photo?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by alldigging View Post
                      Mine doesn't carry on but dies off during the autumn.
                      Photo?
                      This is the plant in question. Click image for larger version

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                      I’ve been googling pictures and now I’m convincing myself it’s not lovage, the leaves don’t look right. But I’m sure it was labelled as lovage when I bought it...
                      Last edited by TrixC; 11-03-2018, 05:51 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Maybe the warm microclimate of London is enough for it to keep going? If that's so, it'll be a giant by the end of the year! Time to prune it, maybe?
                        Living in north-east Spain, where the sun is too hot, the rain too torrential, the hail too big, the wind too windy and the snow too deep.

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                        • #13
                          Could it be Angelica?

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                          • #14
                            Looks like Angelica, not lovage. I have both and have just compared them.
                            Tried photos but its a bit gloomy. Here's lovage

                            Click image for larger version

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                            Angelica leaves are pointier and the stems are reddish. Lovage leaves are rounded and stems are green.

                            The easy way is to taste the leaves - which I've just done. Angelica tastes of that green crystalised stuff that decorates cakes - sweetish.

                            Lovage tastes of celery and is slightly bitter.

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                            • #15
                              I wouldn’t exactly say it tastes sweet, maybe a little, with a bitter aftertaste. It definitely has reddish stems. So on balance more likely Angelica. That explains why I wasn’t wild about the taste, although my herb book says you can eat Angelica leaves.

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