Bay leaves, Laurus nobilis, are from the family Lauraceae (laurel family). Other closely related members of this species include Cinnamomum (cinnamon) and Persea (avocado). The vast majority of the Lauraceae species are different from the other families of Laurales, as they possess leaves that are whorled (the leaves radiate from a single point and surround or wrap around the stem), although a few have opposite leaves. The species tends to be strongly aromatic because of the amount of essential oil found in the bark, leaves and wood.
Indigenous to Asia and the Mediterranean, bay leaves are rarely used fresh. Dried bay leaves have a more pleasant, sweeter taste than fresh and the flavor becomes more intense the longer it cooks. We’ve looked at numerous bay leaf suppliers and found our current supplier’s organic bay leaves to be far superior, not only in color and flavor, but in having more whole leaves.
There are approximately 132 bay leaves per ounce.
Dried bay leaf has higher essential oil than the fresh version at between .6% and 10%, mostly 1,8-cineole.
Bay leaf is called warak al ghar or rand (Arabic), yeuh kuei (Mandarin), laurier (French), lorbeer blatt (German), tejpatta (Hindi), taglia de alloro or lauro (Italian), gekkeiju (Japanese), loureio or louro (Portuguese), lavr (Russian) and hoja de laural (Spanish). Bay Leaves are also known as true laurel, sweet bay and sweet laurel