Bay Leaf is an aromatic leaf commonly used in cooking. It can be used whole, or as dried and ground.
Bay Leaves may come from several different plants such as:
- Bay laurel (Laurus nobilis, Lauraceae)
- California bay leaf – the leaf of the California bay tree (Umbellularia californica, Lauraceae), also known as California laurel, Oregon myrtle, and pepperwood, is similar to the Mediterranean bay laurel, but has a stronger flavour.
- Indian bay leaf or malabathrum (Cinnamomum tamala, Lauraceae) differs in that bay laurel leaves are shorter and light to medium green in colour, with one large vein down the length of the leaf, while tejpat (Cinnamonum tamala) leaves are about twice as long and wider, usually olive green in colour, and with three veins down the length of the leaf and is culinarily quite different, having a fragrance and taste similar to cinnamon (cassia) bark, but milder.
- Indonesian bay leaf or Indonesian laurel (salam leaf, Syzygium polyanthum, Myrtaceae) is not commonly found outside Indonesia.
- West Indian bay leaf, the leaf of the West Indian bay tree (Pimenta racemosa, Myrtaceae).
- Mexican bay leaf (Litsea glaucescens, Lauraceae).