About Dried Bay Leaves Whole
Bay leaves are typically used to flavor slow-make dishes such as soups, stews, marinated meats, tagines, casseroles, and pickles. Dried bay leaves have a subtle (yet complex) flavor profile — slightly bitter and piney with hints of nutmeg and cooling undertones. Bay leaves work well with other dried herbs including parsley, sage, marjoram, oregano, and thyme.
Bay leaves, also known as bay laurels, have a long history — both culinary and otherwise. In ancient Rome and Greece, bay wreaths were used to crown kings, prophets, priests, and victorious athletes. Winners of the Greek Pythian Games (ancient Olympics) were given wreaths made of laurel leaves instead of medals. The expression "don't rest on your laurels” is rooted in these historical traditions: meaning your past victories are no excuse to become lazy or complacent. In academia, “Nobel Laureate” is how we refer to recipients of the Nobel Prize.
The bay laurel is an evergreen tree that can grow to be up to 60ft tall. Bay leaves are dark green on top, lighter underneath, oval, oblong, pointed and range from 1-3 inches long. Dried bay leaves are more of an olive green color.
Dried bay leaves are commonly used in Mediterranean cuisines including Italian pasta sauces and many Greek, Armenian, and North African dishes. The herb is an important ingredient in Bouillabaisse — the classic French Provencal seafood stew. It’s also used in European pickling recipes, Moroccan stews, and in making Turkish kebabs.