Bay Leaf is a herb that is mainly used for cooking. However, you can use it as a whole dry and ground form. Traditionally, people have been using Bay Leaf to cure various diseases, including cancer, diabetes, stomach issues, and more. This aromatic leaf is grown into a laurel tree. You can add these leaves in some slow-cooked dishes to enhance their aroma and taste. It has a great scent which is a blend of herbs and flowers.
Bay Leaves have two main types. The first type is Turkish or Mediterranean Bay Leaves, while the second type is the famous California Bay Leaves. Both of these types have different shapes, which helps to identify both. As evident from their names, the California Bay Leaves are mainly grown in California, USA. It is also mostly sold there. While the Turkish Bay Leaves are grown in Turkey. A major quantity of Turkish Bay Leaves is also imported in the USA, especially the dried form. Some other types of Bay Leaves are Indonesian Bay Leaves and West Indian Bay Leaves. These types are used throughout the world.
What does Bay Leaf Look Like?
The looks of Bay Leaves depend on its type, just like Basil. The Turkish Bay Leaf has comparatively fat leaves with short leaves. While the Californian type of Bay Leaf has thin and long leaves. But normally, Fresh Bay Leaves have a shiny green color top and a paler green underside. However, the dried form has a little different color. When these leaves are dried, they turn into comparatively dull colors.
Moreover, the Indian Bay Leaves have light or medium green colors. That is different from other Bay Leaves. Besides, it has larger leaves which are almost twice the length of other leaves.
Where does Bay Leaf Come From?
The Bay Leaves are normally made of laurel plants. This plant has an evergreen shrub. It grows in a warm climate. Moreover, the California Bay Leaves come from California Bay Tree, also famous as California Laurel. This plant resembles the Mediterranean Bay Laurel that produces Turkish Bay Leaves.
How is Bay Leaf Made?
Bay Leaves are made like other herbs and plants. They are grown using seeds, they are watered, and once they grow completely, the leaves are harvested. And you get fresh Bay Leaves to use. However, for dry form, you have to follow some procedures. It is easy. And you can easily make dry Bay Leaves in your home too. And we will tell you how. Firstly, harvest the leaves once they are fully grown. The best season for picking the leaves is mid-summer. Then you should select the undamaged leaves. Then, wash and rinse the leaves in cool water. Use a paper towel and put the leaves on it. Afterward, leave the Bay Leaves in dry and warm temperatures and let them completely dry. It usually takes two weeks to completely dry. And then, you can use a blender to transform it into powder form.
What Does Bay Leaf Taste Like?
You cannot eat Bay Leaves. So, you cannot determine the exact taste of these leaves. It brings different tastes into different recipes. Besides, some chefs have also argued that it does not have any taste. It just adds a little aroma to the dish.
How is Bay Leaf Used in Cooking?
Bay Leaves are hard. They do not get soft even if you cook them. To use these leaves while cooking, you should add them while cooking. Let it mix well in your recipe and release its flavor. However, make sure to take the whole form of Bay Leaf out once the dish is fully cooked. That’s because of its sharp points, which can easily cut the mouth or even cause choking.
What Types of Cuisines Use Bay Leaf?
Bay Leaves are used in various cuisines, especially rice. People mostly add it while boiling the rice. Some major cuisines that include Bay Leaf are Indian, Thai, French, and Spanish. It is mostly used with meat like turkey.
What is a Bay Leaf Substitute?
Though Bay Leaf is considered a unique herb, it also has substitutes. So, if you are out of these leaves, you can try out their substitutes. The list includes oregano, dried thyme, basil, and juniper berries. So, next time when you don’t find Bay Leaves, use them.
Where to Buy Bay Leaf?
If you want to have some high-quality Bay Leaves, then we have some good suggestions for you. In the following paragraphs, we have listed some top Bay Leaves.