10 grams of the finest quality dried Bay Leaves
The bay leaf originated in Asia Minor and spread to the Mediterranean and other countries with suitable climates. Bay leaf is not grown in Northern regions as the plants do not thrive in cold climates. Turkey is one of the main exporters of bay leaves although they are also grown in areas of France Belgium Central and North America Italy Russia and India. The laurel tree that the bay leaf comes from was very important both symbolically and literally in both Greece and Rome. The laurel can be found as a central component found in many ancient mythologies that glorify the tree as a symbol of honor. This association continues today. Bay leaves are one of the most widely used culinary herbs in Europe and North America. The bay laurel tree has been cultivated since the beginning of recorded history.
If eaten whole bay leaves are pungent and have a sharp bitter taste. As with many spices and flavorings the fragrance of the bay leaf is more noticeable in cooked foods than the taste. When dried the fragrance is herbal slightly floral and somewhat similar to oregano and thyme. Myrcene which is a component of many essential oils used in perfumery can be extracted from the bay leaf.
Fresh or dried bay leaves are used in cooking for their distinctive flavor and fragrance in Mexican food one example is Red Snapper Veracruzana. The leaves are often used to flavor soups stews braises and pâtés in Mediterranean Cuisine. The fresh leaves are very mild and do not develop their full flavor until several weeks after picking and drying.
Bay leaf has many properties which make it useful for treating high blood sugar migraine headaches bacterial and fungal infections and gastric ulcers. Bay leaves and berries have been used for their astringent carminative diaphoretic digestive diuretic emetic and stomachic properties.
Bay Oil or Oil of Bays (Oleum Lauri) is used in liniments for bruising and sprains. Bay leaf has been used as an herbal remedy for headaches. It contains compounds called parthenolides which have proven useful in the treatment of migraines. Bay leaf has also been shown to help the body process insulin more efficiently which leads to lower blood sugar levels.It has also been used to reduce the effects of stomach ulcers. Bay Leaf contains eugenol which has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Bay leaf is also an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. Bay Leaf has also been used to treat rheumatism amenorrhea and colic.