What Are Bay Leaves anyway ? And what are we supposed to do with them ? As one of my favorite things on my spice rack I can help you figure out every important thing there is to know about bay leaves, how to use them, cook with them, store them and cook with them. I’m already smelling rustic chicken stew just talking about bay leaves.
1. Bay leaves are the dried leaves of the bay tree, used to give a distinctive flavor to soups, stews, marinades and pickling solutions. Add them at the beginning of cooking and remove before serving.
2. Fresh bay have a mild flavor and dried leaves have a fully developed peppery flavor with floral undertones .
3. Dried bay should have an olive green color and fresh bay leaves should be dark green on top and lighter underneath.
4. Store dried leaves in an airtight container out of direct sunlight with your herbs and spices.
5. Also known as Sweet Bay and Sweet Laurel, the bay is an evergreen shrub grown successfully in the Mediterranean climates.
6. The bay leaf is one of the ingredients in a ” Bouquet garni ” and they go well with chicken , pork , beef and seafood.
7. In the ancient times bay leaves were believed to alleviate bee and wasp stings and the Romans considered them to be a symbol of glory.