About Bay Leaves
Haven't heard of bay leaves? Well, if you are a foodie or a food aficionado, or a gourmet in the making, or someone who just truly loves cooking, then you must be familiar with bay leaves.
Bay leaves, also known as laurel leaves, are a natural ingredient that is added as a kind of herb or spice in just any kind of dish, and makes it incredibly aromatic and marvelous in both smell and flavor. For some, bay leaves are not just any ordinary kind of herb, it is a special spice that makes normal and ordinary dishes apppear and taste unique and extraordinary.
There are various kinds of different herbs and spices that one can find in the local market or supermarket, even from the grocery store, and the bay leaves or laurel leaves are part of that. So if you are making a stew or a marinade of some kind to add to make that usual dish of yours out of the ordinary, then you must consider using bay leaves to add as an ingredient to your dish.
Originating from Turkey, and known to the local Meditarranean communities, bay leaves come from the evergreen tree, with the scientific name Laurus nobilis. These bay laves have a slight tinge of greenish color when fresh, and seemingly tough yet pliable as thick paper if dried. Bay leaves are elliptical in shape, and are used commonly all over the world as a kind of herb or spice regardless if itís used fresh for salads or pasta dishes or dry for meat and fish dishes. Some even use fresh bay leaves for meat and fish dishes, and they say that it acts the same whether fresh or dried leaves, saying the pungent yet enticing aroma dazzles even the most critical of tastebuds.
Bay leaves come from a set of special species known as the Laurel family, and though it is most popularly called bay leaves, some still use the common name laurel leaves when referring to this herb or spice. Most commonly used in meat and fish stews or beef, pork, poultry stocks; bay leaves are also known to be used in marinating fish or meat, even in soups to produce that aromatic flavor thatís distintively Meditarrenean. Now that it has emerged as one of the most important herbs or spices in the culinary industry, the use of bay leaves or laurel leaves, whether used fresh or dry, has not only become as crucial to any dish in the Meditarrenean, but also to other regions including Spain, Europe, and even in Asia.
There are various kinds of bay leaves used all over the world. The California bay leaf, also referred to as pepperwood, or California laurel, has almost the same taste as the original Meditarranean bay leave, except for its stronger and tougher aroma and taste. There is also the Indian bay leaf, some called it tejpata, almost the same as compared to cinnamon, another popular spice, but has a milder, some even say delicate yet still delicious flavor.
The use of bay leaves have long been known and popular worldwide, with the reputation of bay leaves as having that taste and aroma that makes dishes succulent and heavenly tasty without adding any other additional kind of spice to the dish. Adding bay leaves to an ordinary dish makes it stand out from the crowd, becoming increasingly mouth watering with its incredible aroma that makes anyone who smells it to be prompted to come to the kitchen and ask whatís cooking. Different cuisines from across various regions in the world have bay leaves as among their primary ingredients in their kitchens. Whether used fresh or dried, these bay leaves heighten up the exemplary appeal and appetizing factor to the dish that makes it distinctively savory and tempting.
When one wonders the origins and history of bay leaves, there must be a hush of awe and regality when one learns that bay leaves are known to be historically used as a crowning glory, literally, in the Greek temples, even in the Olympic games, where the winners and champions and victors of various events are given a crown of bay leaves and branches, signalling their royalty as conquerors and virtuousos of their time. This makes bay leaves an ultimate master in the kitchen as well, with its distinct and unique fragrance as splendid as the essence of a championís cuisine. The laureate was named after the bay leaves or laurel leaves, as it was used in the past to culminate the height of oneís professional career in literature or the arts, as we continue to do so.
In using fresh bay leaves for pasta or salads, remember to always keep them in a bundle in your kitchen, and keep in mind that bay leaves are not only good for the taste, but is also wonderfully appealing as a decorative ingredient. Even by just having that bunch of bay leaves in your kitchen, it already makes your kitchen attractive and cozy, pleasing both to sight and smell. What more when you add the fresh bay leaves to your dish!
Dried leaves are usually used to be incorporated in stews and marinades along with some pinches of salt and some peppercorns. Whether your main dish consists of fish or beef, or especially if itís pork or chicken, having dried bay leaves as part of the marinade adds to the delectable and utterly savory experience when one starts to cook the meat slowly over a grill or even in an oily frying pan. Stews generally use either fresh bay leaves or dried bay leaves, depending on your preference.
Now that you have learned a thing or two about bay leaves or laurel leaves, why not try it out by buying some fresh bundles or even dried parcels from your local supermarket or grocery store? You are sure to have a wonderful meal with a delightfully delectable dish prepared at the convenience of your home using bay leaves as an ingredient or as a dťcor, and satisfy the culinary tastebuds of your family and friends.