Bay Rum Leaves

The Pimenta racemosa known simply as "the spice tree" in some parts of the Caribbean is a large, towering tree also known as "sweet bay" and the "bay rum tree".

A species of plant in the myrtle family and related to allspice, it's found throughout the Caribbean.

They look very much like bay leaves, but the flavour is completely different.

Bay leaves are used for cooking rice dishes, soups and stews in the Caribbean, just as they are in other parts of the world. As one of the trademarks of Caribbean cooking, you see it in goat and meat curries, rice and vegetable dishes, spice rubs and sauces.

It also goes into a popular porridge with plantains and forest honey.

Its flavour is intense and highly spiced, with complex notes of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg along with hints of vanilla and cardamom. If you rub the leaves, the distinctive scent will remain on your fingers for hours.

Bay leaves are also used to make tea.

© 2018 Wessel Woortman

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