It is an aromatic evergreen tree or large bush with green, shiny leaves, which grown in the Mediterranean region and its leaves are used as seasoning in cooking, in stews.
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The aromatic are added whole to Italian pasta sauces, red sauces, stews and broths, and are also used as flavoring in the Bloody Mary cocktail. Before serving the food, discard the leaves.
The leaf itself has no special taste. But when added to vegetable or meat broth, soups and stews, it flavors the food. It is not one of the seasonings we regularly use, but its woody and slightly sour taste balances the flavor of the other ingredients.
It is mainly added to dishes that need slow cooking as well as to other dishes that require less time of cooking, such as pasta sauces, risotto, and a simple dish of rice. The secret is to add it to a food that has some liquids so that the bay’s substances can be released.
The best way to store the bay leaves is not in your cupboard, but rather in your freezer where they can retain their flavor and properties.