Bay Leaf

Bay laurel: Laurus nobilis, also called laurel or laurel of Apollo, is the true "laurel", the only edible; it is used in the kitchen as a condiment despite a slight toxicity.

It is native to the Mediterranean basin.

He is sometimes called “Laurier of Apollo” or “noble Laurel”.

Its leaves are used in cooking for their aroma.

In condiment, they are usually dry and are part of the composition of bouquet garni, for infusion or cooking in the sauce.

In Saintonge (France), the leaf is used fresh for short-bouillons, matelotes or stews (Bedouin's use it to flavor coffee). The dried Laurel flowers can also be used in infusion with a spoon of honey, and the dried berries have the same cooking properties as the leaves; they are prepared with a rasp, in the same way as the nutmeg.

It is better to use it in moderation, because the presence of “lactones” and “alkaloids” can give a bitter taste. In India, several different species, with a perfume more or less close to Laurel nobilis are used in cooking, under the name of laurel, often without distinction between them.

It is most often “Cinnamomum tamala”.

Laurel nobilis is never used in traditional Indian cooking, but sometimes in Western or adapted dishes.

The laurel is the symbol of “Apollo”. According to “Ovid, Daphne”, a nymph of Greek mythology, who was Apollo's first love, fled from him and, after a long chase, was caught when, at the last moment, his father, the river god “Pénée”, transformed her into a laurel. From then on, Apollo made it his tree and dedicated it to triumphs, songs and poems. The “Pythia of Delphi chewed laurel leaves before his divinations. Among the ancient Greeks and Romans it was customary to crown poets and victors with laurels.

According toPliny the Elder”, lightning never strikes the shrub of the laurel, he reports that the Emperor “Tiberius”” crowned laurel to protect himself under the thunder

© 2018 Wessel Woortman

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