Bay leaf

Bay leaf

Bay Leaf – culinary name laurel leaves, evergreen Mediterranean plant Laurus nobilis laurel family. Dried bay leaves – one of the major European food seasonings.
Laurel wreaths adorned the ancient Greeks triumphant brow (laureate) – instead of dry leaves and put in the soup as we do. In Greek mythology, was dedicated to Apollo laurel, laurel wreath adorns not only the head but also the cittern, and quiver – in memory of unrequited love for the nymph Daphne turned into a laurel tree to avoid the persistent harassment of God. With the legend connected and the Greek name of laurel daphnee (Daphne) and Old Russian “Daphnia” (so called Laurel in Russia up to the XVIII century).

Bay leaf oil contains volatile as well as acetic acid, valeric acid, and some others. Fresh leaves of laurel – very fragrant, but quite bitter; by drying bitterness noticeably lost, but the flavor is not too greatly reduced.

Try to boil the water in the bay leaf and black pepper (1 liter of water 5-6 bay leaves and peppercorns 9-10), cover, cool, strain, and then raise this infusion ground beef instead of water.

Sometimes cooking for sauces are laurel powder – dry extract essential oil obtained from the leaves.

Fruits laurel less known than the leaves, but sometimes present in the ready-made spice blends. Because of the relatively strong odor and taste their best to add to sauces and gravies, they give a pleasant touch of bland potato dishes, and in combination with juniper berries Excellent with grilled venison.

Eating bay leaf enhances the immune system, it helps to eliminate toxins from the body. At the same time the use of leafs in large quantities is contraindicated in pregnancy and breastfeeding. In acute diseases of the kidneys, liver and heart bay leaf should be used cautiously. In large quantities, bay leaf poisonous.

The types and grades

Bay leaf is most often sold in dried form – ie zasuschennye whole leaves.

Also sold bay powder – a dry extract essential oil of the leaves.

Due to the widespread popularity of bay leaf in Western countries in the name of many exotic leaf spices are often also featured the phrase “bay leaf» (bay leaf) – «West Indian bay leaf”, “Indonesian bay leaf”, “Indian bay leaf.” These herbs do not have anything to do with laurel in the botanical sense, taste and aroma they have different, but they are used in cooking in the same way.

How to cook

By itself, the bay leaf inedible – it is added to hot dishes (soups, stews, meat, fish) and preparations for 5-10 minutes until cooked, then remove. During this time it is a bay leaf gives the dish its flavor and aroma.

Try to boil the water in the bay leaf and black pepper (1 liter of water 5-6 bay leaves and peppercorns 9-10), cover, cool, strain, and then raise this infusion ground beef instead of water.

Laurel powder, like the salt is completely dissolved in the finished dish.

In fruits of laurel a very strong flavor and aroma, so use them in cooking is in very small quantities.

Season

Collection of leafs in the autumn and winter season, which starts in November and ends in February.

How to choose and store

It’s best to buy a bay leaf on the market in a season (November to February). Aroma at this time is simply mouthwatering.

Pay attention to the outer sheet of bay leaf. It should not be stains. If they are, it means that the sheets sick.

Store this seasoning is best in a vacuum packaging, where there is a special fastener. If the fastener is not, it is best to remove it in a glass container, tightly closed and stored in a kitchen cupboard.

Bay leaves can not be stored for over a year, it loses flavor and becomes bitter.

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