lovage. years ago i would have thought someone was talking about nathaniel merriweather. but nope, this lovage is levisticum officinale. a towering twin of celery. it's in the same family as celery (apiaceae) and has a strong celery-like flavor. it has a low water content in its leaves, from what i have noticed when drying it after harvesting. it dries quickly. and although i have read that lovage doesn't retain much of its flavor when dried, i find this highly untrue. the leaves make an excellent tasting tea and i have paired it with lemongrass and linden in one of our popular summer teas.
the more i read about how herbs taste, the more i am finding that either whoever wrote the most regurgitated 'facts' on how herbs taste online (that pop up as the most popular articles in a google search) are so wrong. a lot of our popular herbal knowledge comes from so long ago, and botanicals do change over time from hybridization, etc. (for example medieval watermelon) also, maybe other information out there are from people who tried the herb when it wasn't fresh, or picked it at a time of day when the volatile oils were not at their peak. but i am experiencing much more aromatic and pleasant tastes and smells from the botanicals i grow. lovage is one of these.
when lovage is listed in our shop in amber glass bottles (to keep UV light from dissipating the taste and smell) i hope you give it a try! in cooking, my husband and i use lovage in heavier dishes, especially to garnish a finished soup. it brightens up the palate.