|Bay Leaves are rarely used fresh, as dried bay leaves have a more pleasant, sweeter flavor than fresh and the flavor becomes more intense the longer it cooks. Bay Leaves are also known as True Laurel, Sweet Bay and Bay Herb.
Indigenous to Asia and the Mediterranean, today Bay Leaves are also grown in France, Greece, Guatemala, Mexico, North America and Russia. Our Organic Bay Leaves are grown in Turkey. We've looked at numerous bay leaf suppliers and found our current supplier's bay leave to be far superior not only in color and flavor but in having more complete leaves.
Bay Leaves have a long storied history as at the first Olympic games in 776 B.C. the champions were awarded, not with gold medals but with bay garlands. In early Greece and Rome bay wreaths were used to crown kings, priests, prophets and the victors of scholarly and athletic contests.Today cooks repel grain beetles by adding several bay leaves to containers of stored beans and grains.
Bay Leaf has a bitter, spicy, strong and pungent flavor with a cooling undertone. The taste is piney with hints of nutmeg and clove with camphorlike notes. As with many spices and flavorings, the fragrance of the bay leaf is more noticeable than its taste. When dried and crushed the leaves possess a powerful aroma that is sweet and a bit grassy. the fragrance is herbal, slightly floral, and somewhat similar to oregano and thyme. The flavor of our Organic Turkish bay leaves is more complex and far milder than North American grown bay.
Bay Leaves are a staple ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine and are also found in many Armenian, Greek, North African and Turkish dishes.In Europe they are typically added to soups, stews, pickles and in fish and meat marinades. The French add them to their popular bouquet garni and bouillabaisse. The Moroccans add bay leaves to their pickled fish, stews and tagines. In Turkish cuisine they're added to kebabs, fish casseroles and grilled fish.
There are approximately 132 bay leaves per ounce.
One or two bay leaves are typically enough flavoring for most dishes of six servings.
We also carry a non organic Ground Bay Leaves which we use in several seasoning blends and they're also a great addition to any well stocked kitchen.
Bay Leaves are good with beef, chicken, citrus fruits, fish, game, lamb, lentils, rice, tomatoes, white beans, soups and stews.
Bay Leaves work well in combination with allspice, garlic, juniper, marjoram, oregano, parsley, sage, savory and thyme.
Helpful hints: Bay leaf should be added to a dish early on, as it takes a while for its flavor to fully penetrate the food. You should remove the leaves before serving as they are bitter and sharp if swallowed. If your stored bay leaves turn grey, they have lost their chlorophyll and should be replaced.
Some of the popular recipes with Bay include – Homemade Chicken Soup, Beef and Butternut Squash Stew, Spicy Black Bean Soup and Tortilla Soup.