Historically awarded for only “true valor,” bay leaves are a symbol of praise and nobility. They were woven into wreaths and placed upon the heads of victors and academics, and those in other positions of high honor. They bring that richness to your cooking. Despite its lavish past, this leaf is so humble that it is removed prior to serving the dish.
It’s fascinating how this small leaf can be so impactful on the simplest meals. Its smooth, velvety blades leave behind a distinct flavor, enhancing pâtés, soups, seafood, braised meat and poultry, and stews. As always at Spice Islands Trading Company, we are meticulous about how our spices are handled before, during and after packaging.
Our bay leaves are handpicked in the American West during warm, pleasant summers. The leaves fill the gaps and crevices of the bay trees, patiently waiting to be picked and distributed to fine food connoisseurs all over the world. The bay forests give the typically barren, western landscape a lush green atmosphere. Spice Islands® spice leaves are grown in ideal conditions and are delicately handled, bringing the best taste, color and smell to your dish. Shown here next to an ordinary bay leaf, the difference is plain to see.
Since bay leaves are extremely mild when first harvested, we allow the leaves to dry, which enhances the intensity of the flavor and aroma. Once dried, they are carefully hand-packed into a tight-sealing glass, BPA-free screw-top bottle.
They’re so potent, in fact, that we recommend using 1/3 of a leaf in recipes that call for a whole leaf. Our bay leaves bring an enhancing aroma to a number of dishes found on SpiceIslands.com like Brazilian Rice, and Pasilla Chile Mole.
Patty Szczpanski is a writer, creator and student of food based in Sterling Heights, Michigan.