Bay Leaves (Laurus nobilis) have an astringent, spicy flavour similar to freshly ground pepper but without the heat. Dried Bay Leaves have a more intense and less bitter flavour than fresh.
To release the volatile oils encapsulated in the dried leaf, tear or break the leaves before adding to your cooking. Remove before serving. For decoration leave whole.
Did you know?
The bay tree grows wild and the leaves are harvested by cutting the branches and drying them in the shade. In ancient Greece and Rome the branches were used as wreaths to crown the victors in battle, sport and the arts. We still use the term poet laureate. The word baccalaureate means laurel berries and signifies the successful completion of one’s studies.
Good quality Bay Leaves should be large and whole with clean unblemished leaves of a good green colour. Eugenol is the principal flavour – giving volatile oil.
Bay Leaves complement casseroles, stews, soups, sauces, stock, gravy, minced beef and milk puddings.
Add extra flavour to stews, casseroles and gravy by simmering with a torn Bay Leaf.
Bay Leaves add extra flavour to Italian Bolognese sauce and other minced meat dishes.
The strength and flavour of Bay increases with cooking time.