Does a bay leaf really make a difference?

In this article, we will answer the following question: Does a bay leaf really make a difference? We will talk about the use of bay leaf in the kitchen, how to store it, use it, and the health benefits of this herb.

Does a bay leaf really make a difference?

Bay leaf really makes a difference when cooking! It is one of those aromatic herbs that we discard after cooking, so many tend to think that it is an optional ingredient and that its use is not necessary; However, bay leaves add a subtle flavor to our food that can make the difference between a great dish and a moderately good one.

It is true that bay leaves have a slightly strong flavor when compared to many other aromatic herbs and spices, as it is also true that it’s lightly sweet flavor brings out the flavors of beef, chicken, and even vegetables.

Fresh or dried laurel?

Although it is not very common to find fresh bay leaves, it is always necessary to bear in mind that its eucalyptus flavor is much more powerful when it is fresh than when the leaves are dry. Thus, fresh bay leaves much better when used in desserts, providing a touch of freshness.

Also, it is necessary to remember that bay leaves grow in very dry sunny climates, like oregano or rosemary, so they retain their flavor better after they dry, unlike what happens with other herbs such as coriander, parsley, or basil.

If bay leaves taste so good, why are they thrown away after cooking?

As unbelievable as it may seem, there are some people who claim that bay leaf is poisonous and that is why it is not eaten. If so, would it not pass into our food when boiling the poison? Come on, that for me is an unreasonable statement.

Personally, I think the reason we discard it after cooking is because of its texture, as it doesn’t soften too much, making it unpleasant to chew.

How to store bay leaf?

The preservation of the aroma and flavor properties of spices and aromatic herbs depends a lot on how we store them, so it is recommended to use them for a period of no more than one year in order to get the most out of them.

We must try to keep them in a hermetically closed glass jar, and if we want to keep them for many years, it is best to keep them in the freezer.

How to use bay leaf?

In the Middle Ages, bay leaves were used as medicine and as an insecticide, but also in the kitchen, where they were used to prepare meat roasts, soups, broths, and sauces; just as we continue to do in the XXI century.

Perhaps less common is their use to flavor a good bean dish, and they go especially well with lentils. It is also highly recommended to use it when our dishes ask for cloves as the bay leaves help to balance and enhance the flavor of this spice.

If we want to use the bay leaf in sweet dishes, it goes very well in puddings and ice creams, which greatly enhance the flavor and aroma of laurel, allowing us to taste it in a better way, since its properties are not overshadowed by those of other ingredients.

In addition, it is important to know that bay leaves should be treated as if they were a spice, considering that spices are more harmonious than aromatic herbs and can be combined more easily. Let us remember that bay leaves make a dish more complex and interesting; It may not be the most important, but it ensures to turn it into a party of flavor.

The health benefits of bay leaf

Bay leaf is beneficial for the digestive system. Due to the scent that bay leaves in dishes, it stimulates the appetite and therefore has an aperitif virtue. Its leaves, once dried, can be used to prepare a herbal tea that helps digestion but also reduces spasms and flatulence.

Unlike other plants, there are no interactions with drugs or any particular contraindications. However, it is necessary to avoid an overdose. This is because the bay leaf has emetic effects if consumed in large amounts.

Bay leaf is also a natural remedy for diabetes and respiratory ailments. Another lesser-known virtue of laurel may be of interest to patients with diabetes. In fact, a study carried out in 2009 showed that the consumption of 1 to 3 grams of bay leaves per day for 1 month reduced blood sugar and cholesterol.

Bay leaf is credited with other benefits, including antiseptic, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. It is also known to lower fever and is recommended for colds, sinusitis, and some coughs that require expectoration.

Conclusions

In this article, we answered the following question: Does a bay leaf really make a difference? We talked about the use of bay leaf in the kitchen, how to store it, use it, and the health benefits of this herb.

Bay leaves are more harmonious than aromatic herbs and can be combined more easily. Let us remember that bay leaves make a dish more complex and interesting; It may not be the most important, but it ensures to turn it into a party of flavor.

If you have any comments about the content, please let us know!

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.

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