Organic Bay Leaves
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Our organic whole bay leaves also called laurel leaf are small aromatic leaves of the sweet bay tree "Laurus nobilis". These pungent little leaves have a long history of culinary use. Bay trees have been cultivated from ancient times; its leaves constituted the wreaths of laurel that crowned victorious athletes in ancient Greece.
Dried bay leaves have a delicate, warm aroma similar to oregano and thyme, whereas fresh bay leaves have a notably bitter and sharp taste, and pungent aroma. That’s why bay leaves are one of the few herbs that are generally preferred dried, rather than fresh. If you really want to know what a bay leaf tastes like, put some in some hot water and let it simmer. After five minutes, give it a taste and you should get hints of menthol and eucalyptus as the chemical eugenol is released (one of the major aromatic compounds in a bay leaf). It should also taste quite sharp and bitter. Leave it for longer, about an hour, and you’ll notice the flavour and aroma changes. The heat breaks down the minty flavour, making it more mellow. Creating more of a tea-like aroma. That’s why bay leaves are commonly infused into water, broths or stocks to unlock their pleasant smell, while lending an earthy richness to soups, stews, and sauces. So on their own they may not taste great, but they play an important supporting role in recipes. When used correctly, bay leaves can help amplify a dish, drawing out the flavours of the other ingredients, or deepen existing flavours, giving your plate balance.
Bay leaves are used extensively in the Mediterranean, Middle East, India and Europe. They’re also frequently used in French cooking, particularly in the well-known French bouquet garni, a classic herb mixture used to flavour soups, stocks and casseroles. Americans appreciate the bay leaf too, especially in chilli and gumbo (a heavily seasoned, savoury stew and the official state cuisine of Louisiana).
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