The bay tree, also called Laurus nobilis, is a large evergreen tree or shrub native to the Mediterranean and part of the Lauraceae family. Its broad, smooth, vibrant green leaves are known as bay leaves. Infuse bay leaves into broths or sauces to release their minty flavor with subtle hints of pepper and pine.
The Bay Leaf has a long history of cultural, culinary and medicinal uses in many cultures. Highly prized in ancient Greece and Rome, the Bay Leaf was considered a symbol of accolade and used to adorn Emperors and poets, as well as triumphant warriors and athletes. References to it even appear in mythology.
In terms of culinary applications, the Bay Leaf is quite versatile when used for food seasonings. The warm scent becomes quite noticeable when the leaf is broken, releasing its fragrant oils. The Bay Leaf's flavor is slightly bitter and highly aromatic. Commonly used in soup, stew or sauce seasonings, the Bay Leaf can make foods with long cooking times quite flavorful. It's distinctive taste also makes it a good choice for pickling spice.
Sweet Laurel, Bay Laurel, Indian Bay