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Encyclopedia > Bay leaf
bay leaves
bay leaves

Bay leaf in Greek Daphni (plural bay leaves) is the aromatic leaf of several species of the Laurel family (Lauraceae). Fresh or dried bay leaves are used in cooking for their distinctive flavor and fragrance. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 534 pixelsFull resolution (1024 × 683 pixel, file size: 203 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Dried Bay Leaves (Laurus nobilis) Photographed by Brian Arthur Released under the GNU Free Documentation License. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 534 pixelsFull resolution (1024 × 683 pixel, file size: 203 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Dried Bay Leaves (Laurus nobilis) Photographed by Brian Arthur Released under the GNU Free Documentation License. ... The hierarchy of scientific classification. ... Genera Many; see text The Lauraceae or Laurel family comprises a group of flowering plants included in the order Laurales. ...

  • Laurus nobilis, is a culinary herb often used to flavor soups, stews, and 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.
  • California bay leaf
The leaf of the California bay tree (Umbellularia californica), also known as 'California laurel', 'Oregon myrtle', and 'pepperwood', is similar to the Mediterranean bay but has a stronger flavor.
  • "Indian bay leaf" (also tej pat, tejpat, or tejpata)
The leaf of the Cinnamomum tejpata (malabathrum) tree is similar in fragrance and taste to cinnamon bark, but milder. In appearance, it is similar to the other bay leaves but is culinarily quite different, having an aroma and flavor more similar to that of Cassia. It is inaccurately called a bay leaf as it is of a different genus (though the same family) as the bay laurel.

Contents

Binomial name Laurus nobilis L. The Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis, Lauraceae), also known as True Laurel, Sweet Bay, Grecian Laurel, Laurel, or Bay Tree, is an aromatic evergreen tree or large shrub reaching 10–18 m tall, native to the Mediterranean region. ... Herbs: basil Herbs (IPA: hə()b, or əb; see pronunciation differences) are seed-bearing plants without woody stems, which die down to the ground after flowering. ... Binomial name Umbellularia californica Umbellularia californica is an evergreen tree of the family Lauraceae. ... Malabathrum, also known as Malabar leaf is the name used in classical and medieval texts for the leaf of the plant Cinnamomum tamala. ... Binomial name J.Presl Cassia (Chinese cinnamon) is also commonly called (and sometimes sold as) cinnamon. ... Binomial name Cinnamomum aromaticum Nees Cassia (Cinnamomum aromaticum, synonym ), also called Chinese cinnamon, is an evergreen tree native to southern China and mainland Southeast Asia west to Myanmar. ...

Taste and aroma

If eaten whole, bay leaves are pungent and have a sharp, bitter taste. The flavor of the California bay leaf is a bit more intense and bitter than the Turkish. 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, an essential oil used in perfumery can be extracted from the bay leaf. The flavor and aroma of bay leaves owes in large part to the essential oil eugenol. Binomial name Origanum vulgare L. Oregano or Pot Marjoram (Origanum vulgare) is a species of Origanum, native to Europe, the Mediterranean region and southern and central Asia. ... Species About 350 species, including: Thymus adamovicii Thymus altaicus Thymus amurensis Thymus bracteosus Thymus broussonetii Thymus caespititius Thymus camphoratus Thymus capitatus Thymus capitellatus Thymus camphoratus Thymus carnosus Thymus cephalotus Thymus cherlerioides Thymus ciliatus Thymus cilicicus Thymus cimicinus Thymus comosus Thymus comptus Thymus curtus Thymus disjunctus Thymus doerfleri Thymus glabrescens Thymus... Myrcene, or β-myrcene, is an olefinic natural organic compound. ... An essential oil is a concentrated, hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aromatic compounds from plants. ... Eugenol (C10H12O2), is an allyl chain-substituted guaiacol, i. ...


Culinary use

Bay leaves are a fixture in the cooking of many European cuisines (particularly those of the Mediterranean), as well as in North America. They are used in soups, stews, meat, seafood, and vegetable dishes. The leaves also flavor classic French dishes such as bouillabaise and bouillon. The leaves are most often used whole (sometimes in a bouquet garni), and removed before serving. In Indian cuisine, bay leaves are often used in biriyani and many salans. Bouillabaisse is a traditional Provençal fish stew originating from the port city of Marseilles. ... Relief map displayed in the city. ... Bouquet garni of thyme, bay leaves, and sage, tied with a string. ... Chicken Biryani garnished with egg Biryani is an elegant rice preparation from India and Pakistan. ...


Bay leaves can also be crushed (or ground) before cooking. Crushed bay leaves impart more of their desired fragrance than whole leaves, and there is less chance of biting into a leaf directly.


History/region of origin

Ancient Greeks and Romans crowned victors with wreaths of laurel. The term "baccalaureate," means laurel berry, and refers to the ancient practice of honoring scholars and poets with garlands from the bay laurel tree. Romans felt the leaves protected them against thunder and the plague. Later, Italians and the English believed bay leaves brought good luck and warded off evil.


Facts

Mountain laurel leaves are poisonous to certain livestock and are not sold anywhere as a spice (cousin species) (britannica). This has led to the mistaken belief that bay leaves should be removed from food after cooking because they might poison humans. Bay leaves are safe to eat, however, a person may accidentally swallow a leaf, and the leaves remain stiff even after several hours of cooking.


  Results from FactBites:
 
Bay leaf - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (435 words)
Bay leaf (plural bay leaves) is the aromatic leaf of several species of the Laurel family (Lauraceae).
The leaf of the bay laurel or "true laurel", Laurus nobilis, is a culinary herb often used to flavor soups, stews, and braises and pâtés in Mediterranean Cuisine.
It is inaccurately called a bay leaf as it is of a different genus (though the same family) as the bay laurel.
Bay Leaf (201 words)
Bay Leaf or Laurel Leaf are dried leaves or an evergreen shrub or more rarely a tree attaining a height of 15 to 20 mtrs.
The upper surface of the leaf is glabrous and shiny, olive green, and lower surface is dull olive to brown with a prominent rib and veins.
Bay leaves are used as flavouring in soups, stews, meat, fish, sauces and in confectionaries.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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