General Description: Bay Leaves come from the sweet bay or laurel tree. The elliptical leaves of both trees are green, glossy, and grow up to 3 inches long.
Uses: Bay leaves are ideal for slow-simmering soups and stews because they release their strong, aromatic oils slowly. They are also frequently used to flavor sauces, vegetables and meats.
History: 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 thought Bay Leaves brought good luck and warded off evil.
Origin: Bay Leaves are grown in the Mediterranean region.
Shelf Life: 2-3 years