Bay leaves - Laurus nobilis - Italian herbs
Bay leaves have an intense spicy, bitter taste. Their smell is unique and describable as aromatic; they are part of the essential equipment of a cook for meat broth, vegetable stews, stews, marinades, vegetables, mushrooms
In Latin, laurel means Laurus nobilis and is also known by us under the following names: bay leaves and soup leaves.
From where does the laurel come?
The laurel - Laurus nobilis originally comes from Asia Minor, but has spread to the Mediterranean region a long time ago. Today it is widespread in the USA, southern Europe, and Turkey. The laurel tree can grow wild up to 15 meters high. It is an evergreen tree that produces yellow-greenish, white flowers with a dark purple berry during flowering. These berries are similar to olives. It also needs a warm climate and nutrient-rich soil. The laurel tree even does not tolerate frost or drought, which is why you find it in the coastal region.
Laurel in history
In Ancient times the worshiped laurel. It was woven into wreaths and worn as a headdress by winners of great deeds. Whether it was generals, Olympic champions, or great singers of that time, all of them honored with laurel. We all know Julius Cesar, who wore a laurel wreath in many pictures. In Greek mythology, it appears as a wreath.
How taste bay leaves?
Bay leaves have a strong, warm aroma, and therefore use the dried leaves sparingly. You can also grind them fresh in a small grinder if you want a more intense fragrance in your dishes.
What herbs and spices can be combined with bay leaves?
Bay leaves pair well with various herbs and spices. Some popular options include:
- Thyme: Bay leaves and thyme complement each other excellently and are often used together in soups, stews, and sauces.
- Rosemary: The combination of bay leaves and rosemary adds aromatic depth to many dishes, especially meat dishes.
- Oregano: Oregano and bay leaves form a classic combination in Mediterranean dishes, especially in Italian cuisine.
- Pepper: Black pepper is a popular addition to dishes with bay leaves and enhances the flavor.
- Cloves: Cloves and bay leaves are a classic combination often used in savory dishes and marinades.
- Juniper Berries: Juniper berries and bay leaves form a classic combination often used in meat dishes, sauces, and game.
- Cumin: Cumin gives dishes with bay leaves an earthy and slightly spicy note, especially in stews and curries.
- Allspice: Also known as pimento, allspice complements the flavor of bay leaves in many savory dishes.
- Cinnamon: A pinch of ground Ceylon cinnamon can give dishes with bay leaves a subtle, warm note, especially in stews and braised dishes.
- Cardamom: Cardamom and bay leaves form an interesting combination found in many recipes of Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine.
- Star Anise: Star anise and bay leaves can be used together to add a spicy and aromatic note to soups, stews, and marinades.
- Turmeric: Turmeric is a popular spice often used in combination with bay leaves in rice dishes, curries, and soups.
It's important to note that bay leaves have a strong flavor, so they should be used sparingly to avoid overwhelming the taste. Feel free to experiment with different combinations to find what works best for your specific dish.
Culinary use of bay leaves - soup leaves
You can find the laurel in different dishes because their use is universal. In France, they belong to the Bouquet garni and the Courbouillon. They are used to season ragouts, roasts, fish soup, and wild marinades.
Soup leaves prepare sauces such as béchamel and tomato sauces, as well as stews, stews, grill skewers, seafood, desserts, and much more.
You Braise them with the Milan veal knuckle Ossobuco or season beetroot, white and red cabbage, carrots, and mushrooms. The soup leaves, thus refine a wide range of dishes. Whether vegetarian or vegan, everyone can use the intensive bay leaves well.
The bay leaves drive urine, promote digestion, and stimulate the appetite.
Storage of spices and herbs
Please store all spices and herbs in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Please protect it from direct sunlight.