All About Bay Leaves

All About Bay Leaves

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Bay Leaves || Le Gourmet TV Recipes

AKA: Bay laurel, Roman laurel, Sweet bay, Poet’s laurel
Botanical Name: Laurelus nobilisPlant Family: Laurel (Lauraceae)Origin: Asia 

- Mostly grown in Turkey
- Other leaves from the Laurel family can sometimes be found, but they have a different flavour
- Not Poisonous…. Despite popular belief, supermarket / spice trader leaves can be eaten. Recipes ask you to remove them before serving, because no-one wants to get a tough and sharp leaf in their mouth during a meal. 
- Bitter component, on which to build other flavours
- Simmering for at least twenty minutes, preferably longer, will release all the savoury character into your stock.
- Used in: soups, stews, rice dishes. court bouillon, Bouquet Garni, crab boil, brining meat
- Old leaves… If you can’t remember when you bought the bay leaves in your cupboard - they probably have no flavour.

Not to be confused with:
California Bay Leaf AKA: Californian laurel Botanical Name: Umbellularia californica
Plant Family: Laurel (Lauraceae) Origin: California Californian bay laurel, is not closely related to genuine culinary bay leaves as the common name might imply. It has a longer leaf and a stronger Flavour than other bay species. The Colour is a deeper green and the long pointed leaves have a menthol aroma on top of the more traditional bay aroma. The problem with this leaf is that the enticing aroma cooks away rather quickly, leaving behind an overpowering, medicinal taste.

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