The Bay Leaf is an aromatic leaf commonly used in cooking. It can be used whole or in a dried or ground form.
The leaves contain about 1.3% essential oils, consisting of 45% eucalyptol, 12% other terpenes, 8-12% terpinyl acetate, 3–4% sesquiterpenes, 3% methyleugenol, and and pinenes, phellandrene, linalool, geraniol, terpineol, and also contain lauric acid.
Fresh or dried bay leaves are used in cooking for their distinctive flavour and fragrance. The leaves should be removed from the cooked food before eating. The leaves are often used to flavour soups, stews, braises and pâtés in many countries. The fresh leaves are very mild and do not develop their full flavour until several weeks after picking and drying.
If eaten whole, bay leaves are pungent and have a sharp, bitter taste. As with many spices and flavourings, the fragrance of the bay leaf is more noticeable than its taste. When dried the fragrance is herbal, slightly floral, and somewhat similar to oregano and thyme. Myrcene, a component of many essential oils used in perfumery, can be extracted from the bay leaf. They also contain eugenol.
The name “WestBank Bay Leaf” is a tribute to Ms. Mickey’s side of town where she was raised. Ms. Mickey grew up and went to school on the Westbanks of New Orleans, LA and now resides in North Carolina with her family.