Preparing Meals With The California Bay Leaf

By Grace Rivas

People who utilize the California Bay leaf admire its flavor. For years, this spice has been included in all sorts of dishes. It can be used for making savory or sweet dishes and children like the taste. Adults who have experience with it have tried it in many hot and cold treats, where it complements fruits and meats. In the US, it is regarded as a highly versatile spice and one of the most valued to emerge from CA.

This spice is referred to using a wide range of names. People generally call it by the label that is used wherever they grew up or first encountered it. For example, in some communities chefs speak of it as pepper wood, perhaps as a reference to its spiciness. In other areas, many individuals know it as the Oregon Myrtle or CA Laurel.

These leaves are usually compared to those originating from the Mediterranean. Chefs who are accustomed to the sort that is grown outside North America will probably feel that the latter is overwhelming when they initially experience it. Its bold flavor actually makes you save money since you get an equivalent taste by using less.

Some recipes include a specific amount of the Mediterranean variety in the ingredients. However these are less concentrated so when making these dishes using tasty CA laurel in its place, cut the quantity by half. This allows you to have a rich taste and still be able to save some leaves. Crush and bend them a bit to release more of the flavor.

In general, foreign leaves are sold dried and their North American relatives are typically delivered fresh to homes and supermarkets. This difference might be due to a difference in the distance that foreign exports must travel before arriving in the states. However in many homes, nothing beats the delicious flavor of freshly picked CA laurel in stews and soups.

People who prepare meals with this spice often usually purchase a pound or more. It is cheaper to buy it this way and they save in the long run. They get lots of spice when they buy in bulk. In fact, a pound usually contains over seven hundred fresh leaves. You can store these in your refrigerator. Package them in an airtight bag and they will remain flavorful for months.

When you choose to dry the California Bay leaf, as with many herbs and spices, you can expect it to lose some of its rich flavor. However quite a few chefs still do that because the seasoning will last longer. Dehydrating them is easy and can be done using an oven or by hanging them to dry. Pick the method that is more convenient.

People who are preparing poultry, beef or ham sometimes use the California Bay leaf to make their dish tastier. Whenever you utilize it, make sure all the leaves are removed before you serve the food. Always use them whole and never dice them since it will become harder for you to find them. The flavor also brings out the taste of fruits and vegetables including tomatoes and beets.

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