North America Office: Orangeville, ON
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European Office: Athens, Greece
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Mediterranean Bay Leaves – 15 Grams

$6.99

Pre-order now along with our oregano and saffron – shipping begins mid to end of week of November 19-23, 2018

“the ones you sent smelt so nice and I think they will change the way I think about bay leaves. ~ Lisa Turner, Food Blogger – Lisa’s Kitchen

Many of us in North America purchase bay leaves that have no scent and hardly any flavour. This is due to a number of factors including long storage in warehouses and the quality and specific species of bay leaves that are packaged in North America.

Our bay leaves are Mediterranean laurel or bay leaf, from the species Laurus nobilis and the Greek name is δάφνη (dafnie). They are a little drier than typical store-bought North American bay leaves yet have a pleasant scent and taste. The taste is drawn out the longer they are simmered in the dish you are making.

Read more about bay leaves and the differences in the “long description” below.

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Description

“the ones you sent smelt so nice and I think they will change the way I think about bay leaves.” ~ Lisa Turner, Food Blogger – Lisa’s Kitchen

Many of us in North America purchase bay leaves that have no scent and hardly any flavour. This is due to a number of factors including long storage in warehouses and the quality and specific species of bay leaves that are packaged in North America.

Our bay leaves are Mediterranean (also called Turkish) laurel/bay leaf, from the species Laurus nobilis and the Greek name is δάφνη (dafnie/dafni). They are a little drier than typical store-bought North American bay leaves yet have a pleasant scent and taste. The taste is drawn out the longer they are simmered in the dish you are making.

Bay Leaf Varities

In North America, we don’t often know exactly what type of Bay Leaf we are purchasing, and yet there are several distinct varieties. If you are making a Mediterranean style dish, our bay leaves are perfect for authenticity as they are laurus nobilis species. These should not be confused with Californian bay leaves Umbellularia californica which is actually a tree as opposed to the shrub or the bush-like Mediterranean species.

While California bay leaves are supposed to have a stronger flavour, often what we buy is old and past the true expiry date for this variety in optimum taste and scent. Our Mediterranean bay leaves on the other hand, definitely have a pleasant scent that you will notice when you open the package.

Other varieties often sold as “bay leaves” include “Indian Bay Leaf” of the Cinnamonum species, “West Indian” (Pimenta racemosa and also used to make a cologne commonly referred to as “Bay Rum”), and Mexican bay leaf (Litsea glaucescens).

If your Mediterranean or Greek dish calls for bay leaf, laurel or dafnie, you will want to use our true Mediterranean bay leaf! It’s wonderful simmered in soups, stews, chowders, sauces and other dishes. We love lentil soup with several bay leaves added, and simmered until the flavours are drawn out.

Traditional and Modern Uses

In Greece, bay leaves have been used for over a millennium in a variety of ways. It was common to “crown” the winners of sporting events with a bay leaf or laurel wreath, and the Bay was the symbol of the god Apollo.

In addition to imparting taste to various dishes, the leaf was also considered an aphrodisiac and ingesting very large quantities can have a very slight narcotic effect. Ancient Greek prophetesses and seers were known for their trance-like states that were brought about by consuming a large amount of ground bay leaf.

There are some cautions when using bay leaf – if using them whole, they should be removed from the dish before being served as whole bay leaf can be difficult to digest. Breaking the bay leaf into pieces can ensure optimum flavour, but again, care should be taken about preventing the pieces being consumed. Options include adding the bay leaves, whole or broken into a muslin bag which can then be removed or by grinding the leaves finely and adding directly this way, which will not pose digestive issues.

The Mediterranean bay leaf has also been used in traditional medicine for relieving headaches, for treating arthritis, and for general protection against illness. It was believed that it could offer protection against The Plague in medieval Europe.

Today, it is mostly used for adding flavour while cooking, but scientific research is being conducted into the possible health benefits which include treating dandruff, for anti-stress and anti-depressant relief, cancer prevention, and to help with digestive and respiratory issues.

Whatever the reasons for using bay leaf, be sure to use our laurus nobilis species for the true authentic taste of Mediterranean or “Turkish” bay/laurel!

Additional information

Weight 0.015 kg