i was just having this conversation with someone. i think bay is one of those flavors that can get out of control really fast; there is a huge difference between one bay leaf and two. once there is too much of it, i agree that it stops being pleasant, but in the right amount, i think works because it's hard to discern.
the flavor can also build up and get to be too much for me. a local ice cream shop makes a bay laurel ice cream, and i enjoy a taste or two of it, but i can't imagine eating a whole scoop.
Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.
My husband hates bay leaf, too (among other things............), so much so that I don't cook with it at all anymore. I wonder if it's one of those things like cilantro that tastes different to different people.
Just to note, there is a difference between Turkish Bay Leaves and California, which are twice as strong. Try buying her some Turkish ones for a stocking stuffer this holiday and see if that agrees with you more. Penzey's is a great mail order source for spices.
For me, I like whole bay leaves in moderation, for soups especially, but don't care much to use it as a ground herb/spice.
Thanks for the distinction between the two. I didn't know that. And thanks for the Christmas gift idea. Much better than dropping a bunch of hints and then throwing a fit like I did last time ((((((ashaaaamed))))))
Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking
I agree with everyone. Bay gets out of control pretty quickly. And even though I have a California bay just outside my window, I stock Turkish leaves as well. I never grind it.
I love bay leaves! Yes, you do need to be careful and not add too many. I use freshly picked leaves from my windowsill plant. Not sure what variety it is though...
Chops is a trusted home cook.
I, too, agree with all the responses. I do notice a stronger, slightly more pronounced flavor with fresh bay leaves rather than dried. I always use one large bay leaf in my stews but recall adding two once and noticing that thestew was off in flavor. I thought two bay leaves were too much, and I do like the flavor but I guess subtle as an underlying flavor. I never grinded my bay leaves, fyi.
I remember being taught (by whom is anyone's guess) to remove bay leaf before serving so I never grind it either.
Lisanne is a trusted home cook.
Fresh bay leaf has a "greener" rounder flavor that is wonderful sauteed--completely different from the sharp spiciness of the dry leaf. I use the fresh leaf for pilaf, chili, sauteed w/onions & garlic.
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Well played. You deserve a cookie.
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