David Vanille's opinion: Are you looking for freshness for your hot dishes and sweetness for your raw dishes? This is an aromatic plant that is still not well known in our kitchens and deserves a place in its own right.
Food pairing: Omelettes, potatoes, vegetables, vinaigrettes, salted dishes.
Packaging: 40 gr
Other names: Lovage, Ache des montagnes
Origin - Plantations : Poland
Dosage: One teaspoon per recipe.
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The Ache from the mountains is more commonly known under another name: Lovage. Nevertheless, its use remains (too) confidential in France, while this aromatic herb is full of gustatory and nutritional values. I have therefore chosen to present it to you so that you too can discover all that Ache des Montagnes can bring to your kitchen and your daily life.
It is an aromatic plant of the Apiaceae family, which is a rather robust perennial plant that can reach 2 meters high at the time of its flowering. As its name suggests, its favourite environment remains the mountainous massifs. This is how it will be found in the Pyrenees, the Alps, Central Europe and the Caucasus, below 1800 metres in altitude.
This condiment plant has large, cut, shiny, dark green leaves reminiscent of celery leaves, and for good reason: it is the ancestor of celery and raves. L'Ache des Montagnes delivers tiny yellow hermaphroditic flowers in the middle of summer.
The Ache des Montagnes is at the centre of a mystery that cannot be revealed too much: this plant is one of the main ingredients of a famous concentrated cube shaped broth that our kitchens know quite well (which is why it is called "Maggi's herb")
Among our friends in Switzerland and Germany, its consumption is widespread and even arouses great interest since the entire plant is used (roots, stem, leaves and seeds).
The Ache des Montagnes leaves are used mainly to replace celery in many preparations. To ensure that they deliver the quintessence of their flavours and to avoid damaging the aromatic palette that characterizes them, a little bit of these leaves will be added just a few minutes before the end of the cooking process. It should be noted that Ache des Montagnes has a better cooking resistance than celery.
On the nose, you will feel a form of freshness on the edge of the mentholated, which is found in no other European aromatic herb. The herbaceous notes will, of course, remain the majority when you smell a little of this aromatic plant. I challenge you to find the notes that correspond to this famous cube of concentrated broth used in our kitchens, I am sure you will detect them quickly!
Ache des Montagnes has an important place in Eastern European cuisines, particularly in Moldova, Bulgaria and Romania (we can see some examples of recipes below).
While it is mainly used in simmered dishes, Ache des Montagnes is also a good way to flavour vinegars. It is also used as an infusion to cure certain ailments (see" Other uses of Ache des Montagnes "»).
It should be noted that it is with Ache des Montagnes, using its leaves and stem, that the famous "celery salt" is prepared.
As mentioned above, Ache des Montagnes is a great success in Eastern European countries, to such an extent that it occupies a prominent place in the kitchens. I propose you some recipes allowing you to use this wonderful condiment plant in your everyday kitchen, you will not be able to do without it! The rule that will guide you in your choice is quite simple: you can use Ache des Montagnes in all the dishes in which you could have included stalk celery. But this aromatic plant has other surprises to reveal!
For your meat and fish dishes:
Ache des Montagnes is ideal to flavour all your simmered dishes. Thus, it will do wonders in a Pot-au-Feu or a Stew. In Moldova and Bulgaria, it is mainly used in all lamb dishes, whether it is a leg of lamb, stuffed lamb or Drob-Sarma (risotto made from lamb offal). This aromatic plant will also enhance a Calf Shank with moguls. Make it an ingredient in its own right by adding it to a Meatloaf. Ache des Montagnes will be an excellent seasoning for all your stuffing. Its freshness will enhance your fish dishes, whether they have been baked or brandaded. Chef Thibault Sombardier used it in his Blanc de St Pierre fried, small leeks, shell juice and mountain purchases.
For your vegetable dishes
You will find a lot of pleasure in tasting all the flavours of Ache des Montagnes in vegetable dishes. Whether it is potatoes, squash or tomatoes, Ache des Montagnes (Livèche) will be an excellent condiment for all your steamed vegetables, as a gratin, soup or stewed dishes.
Make a delicious Pâtisson Flan with Ache des Montagnes, or a Velouté with Ache des Montagnes
In Central Europe, it is used in particular in Ciorba (soup made from different vegetables and sometimes meat) or in the Ghiveci (which is a kind of Bulgarian ratatouille).
Chef Alain Ducasse invites you to add it to a cold broth of White Beans with Bilbao Cod.
On a daily basis, Ache des Montagnes can be used to flavour your omelettes, fresh or rather made cheeses, or as an infusion, in order to feel all its benefits.
The Ache des Montagnes originated in the far reaches of Persia. It was also part of the offerings brought with the coronation of Cyrus II in the 6th century BC.
This extraordinary aromatic plant was already known to the Greeks and Romans in ancient times. It was used for aromatic and medicinal purposes.
Mention is made of the Ache des Montagnes in the Capitulaire de Villis (8th / 4th century AD) as a vegetable plant recommended by Charlemagne, particularly at the Abbaye de Saint-Gall (located in eastern Switzerland).
Ache des Montagnes is known to have a high dose of vitamin C. It also allows the design of aromatic preparations, which are highly appreciated thanks to their essential oil content.
This aromatic plant has many benefits for the digestive system (aperitif, digestive, diuretic), the nervous system (sedative, anti-convulsant) and the immune system (antibacterial, anti-inflammatory). This is what makes this plant a real star of the pharmacopoeia among our Swiss and German neighbours.
When used externally, it is considered anti-parasitic and antimycotic.
The Ache des Montagnes would also be used to treat pathologies such as rheumatism, menstrual disorders or psoriasis.
In infusion, it would relieve migraine sufferers (previously, this method was also used to treat jaundice).
In Ukraine, her leaves are used to prepare hair care products.
In general, the leaves, stems and seeds of the livèche should be used sparingly.