The Bay Leaf is the aromatic leaf of the evergreen Bay Laurel tree, which originated in modern-day Turkey.
Bay leaves have a distinctive flavor and aroma, the fragrance being more pronounced than its taste. Dry bay leaves have a more intense flavor than fresh. Our premium hand-selected whole Bay Leaves have a camphorous flavor with warm mineral-oil notes. The fragrant leaves have a slightly floral smell, reminiscent of oregano and thyme.
According to legend, the Oracle at Delphi chewed bay leaves, or inhaled the smoke of burning leaves to put herself into a visionary trance. Bay leaf is also an anti-fungal, insecticidal and anti-bacterial plant, believed to have many magical as well as medicinal qualities. Bay leaf is also a key ingredient of Bay Rum, an old-fashioned after shave that conjures up the memory of clean-shaven gentlemen from the olden days [like the 60s and 70s].
Bay leaves are widely used throughout the world, and are especially prevalent in Mediterranean and North American recipes. Bay Leaves may be best known as a key component of Herbes de Provence, and of Bouquets Garni. Use Bay Leaves in soups, sauces, stews, and other long-cooking dishes. Bay Leaf is appropriate for fish, meat and poultry, and matches well with beans, lentils, potatoes and risotto.
Bay leaf is often included as a pickling spice. Bay Leaves improve the flavor of salt-free dishes with their rich flavor. Use the bay leaf whole to infuse its flavor into your cooking, then pluck it out before serving.