for making base gravy, curries and sauces. Yes, the bay leaves you can buy at the grocery store are perfectly edible. My response to this is that you won’t miss bay leaves in a dish if you don’t add it but a good aromatic leaf does add a hint of flavour to the dish esp when cooked in broth or sauce. Basically, they’re leaves and they taste like leaves. You can also store the sealed dried bay leaves in the freezer, which will help the bay leaf retain its flavor and floral potency. Everyone knows they belong in any seasoned cook’s spice cabinet—but why? U.S. Department of Agriculture. Indian bay leaves are about twice as long and wider, usually olive green in colour and have three veins running the length of the leaf. What Do Bay Leaves Do? So embark on the journey of Spicing It Upp!! In Indian cooking it is the dried whole leaf that is used the most . What many are unaware about is that Indian bay leaves are different to laurel bay leaves. However, like the existence of the Illuminati, the purpose of bay leaves is widely questioned & doubted. Dried bay leaves, however, will stay good for several years if you keep them tightly sealed in a cool, dark place. Here’s the thing: Bay leaf believers and naysayers probably aren’t going to come to a consensus anytime soon. In terms of the flavour they are a cross between being ever so slightly minty and woody. Some laurel leaves are poisonous, however, and that’s likely contributed to the widely believed misconception that consuming them is dangerous. Credit: To get the best of bay leaves add them in hot oil or butter and stir it for few seconds to flavour the fat. Read our. The bay leaf tea, which is filled with antioxidants, also supports skin health. The majority of fresh leaves sold in the U.S. are California bay leaves while the dried come from Turkey. Tequila Blog: What You Need To Know About Mexican Alcohol, Why Are Spices and Herbs with Vitamin C So Important, shorter, and pale green in colour with one vein going down the middle. 1 tsp ground bay leaf – 3 dried or 1 fresh bay leaf. The Turkish variety is the most common, with a more subtle flavor compared to California bay leaves, which have more potency and a slightly mint taste. 1/2 inch of Cinnamon stick, 1/2 tsp of fresh or dried thyme leaves, allspice berries or juniper berries too serve as good alternatives. on: function(evt, cb) { May help heal wounds –  A research conducted on rats showed that the essential oils derived from bay leaves can help in healing minor wounds and cuts and reduce inflammation. It is used to add fragrance to dish as opposed to any taste. As with many spices and flavourings, the fragrance of the bay leaf is more noticeable than its taste. Your email address will not be published. In 2016, Kelly Conaboy sparked the discussion with a scathing article called “The Vast Bay Leaf Conspiracy.”, “What does a bay leaf taste like? We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Look for dried leaves that are free of blemishes, cracks, and tears. Also a popular spice for making spice rubs and spice blends for marinades, spice mixes and sauces. One has the option to either omit them from the recipe if you wish. What is Bay Leaves Called in Other Languages. } It’s a fact of life—or is it? Wherever you choose to buy it make sure it is from a trusted source. annick vanderschelden photograph/Getty Images, Credit: If you’ve consumed a bay leaf (accidentally or on purpose), you can rest easy: The poisonous laurel leaves are never sold for culinary purposes. I love to hear your kitchen adventures so please share any recipes or tips.