Aromatic, dried or fresh, bay leaves add unique and pleasing herbal essence to sweet and savory foods, including: sauces, custards, soups, stews, rice, wholegrains, vinegars and many Mediterranean dishes. Sweet Bay leaves are the signature ingredient used in bouquet garni and Old Bay Seasoning®.
Bay laurel artwork is often seen on money and is on the U.S. dollar bill, as well as in Japanese currency. Bay references can also be found in Greek mythology, Chinese folklore and the Bible.
The bay tree has also influenced the English language. From bay laurel, we get the expressions, "winning your laurels," and "resting on your laurels." Language derivatives include the words baccalaureate and poet laureate.
Turkish Bay Leaves
Sweet Bay in Cooking
Our little bay tree was a slender 2-foot stick for several years, until it finally began to branch out in its third year. I have yet to prune our bay laurel, which would enhance its growth and branching out; I just can't bring myself to prune such a small stick! Even so, our sweet bay is growing, little-by-little, and is now a few inches taller than 3-foot, making it an ideal plant to be featured in the garden.
Dave's Gardens - Laurus nobilis
Bay Laurel, the 2009 Herb of the Year by Carrie Lamont
Herb Society of America: Laurus nobilis Fact Sheet
The Herb Companion: Bay (Laurus Nobilis) Article, Recipes and Tips by Susan Belsinger
All About Bay Leaves and Basic Chicken Stock Recipe by Sandra Bowens
Photograph: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons: Laurus nobilis ;Family:Lauraceae Original book source: Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé ''Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz'' 1885, Gera,
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