All About Bay Leaves
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.