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When the Olympic Games were established in 776 BC, victors were crowned with wreaths of aromatic bay leaves. Today, they are a pantry staple used in a wide range of dishes. They areused dried, as the flavour is more intense and less bitter than the fresh leaves. They have a strong woody, herbaceous and slightly floral flavour, with underlying warm aromas of nutmeg and clove and a cooling camphor-like note.

They can be used whole or powdered. When used whole, the leaf is usually removed before serving. Great for use in slow-cooked recipes, lamb kebabs, roast potatoes and spaghetti bolognese.They add a beautiful flavour to roasting potatoes or winter squash, soups of all sorts, slow simmering beans, as well as rice and polenta. Bay Leaves also work beautifully with tomatoes and can be used with wide variety of meats from slow cooked pot roasts to steak rubs, great in fish dishes especially curries, and a must have ingredient in Biryani rice and Garam Masala.

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