Why Is A Leaf So Important? Scientific Name - Laurus nobilis, Bay leaf is a spice used in many recipes across the globe. It is simple leaves of a tree known as Laurus nobilis – ‘renowned bay leaf’ containing essential oil. If you crush and squeeze a green bay leaf, you can smell the aroma of the oil. Green and immature leaf possess stronger aroma and taste that a dry leaf. The pungency and aroma deter with time.
These tree leaves are dried before and sell commercially; if you have a garden kitchen and a bay leaf tree, then you are the lucky one to snatch fresh green bay leaf and add to the curry or Biryani. It may always be possible that the cooks and chefs of that time (maybe cook & chef word may not be prominent at that time) is aware of it's culinary as well as medicinal properties centuries before.
Are There Any Verities Of Such A Useful Leafs?
Bay leaf has around five main verities such as
# Bay Laurel – Lauras Nobilis
# Indian Bay Leaf also known as malabathrum – Cinnamomum Tamala
# California Bay Leaf – Umbellularia Californica # Indonesian Bay Leaf or Indonesian Laurel a.k.a. Salam – Syzygium polyanthum.
What Effects Does This Leaf Make On Our Food Taste?
The aroma and fragrance of the bay leaf are more enjoyable than their taste. Bay leaf has a pungent and bitter taste when green. Dried bay leaf gives a slightly sweet, muddy, and floral aroma; it loses a little its pungency.
It is the reason when cooking with green leaves; you have to take out leaves from any recipe while the dish is still cooking and dried leaves are separated before serving when food is cooked thoroughly.
How And Where Does This Noble Leaf Use In Our Day To Day Life?
Bay leaf is used in many cuisines for its fragrance. The uses and techniques to use the bay leaf for its unique aroma are as follows for the significant cuisines:
# Indian Cuisine: In Indian sub-continent bay leaf is used in mainly rice recipes like Biryani, and Pulav. Bay leaf is an ingredient in spicy curries of meat or veggies. Bay leaf is ground with some other spices to make Garam Masala Spices powder which is used in almost every Indian curry.
# Pilipino Cuisine: In Pilipino dish Adobo; the bay leaf is used as a spicy ingredient.
# Bay leaves were used in Greek, American and other western cuisines (especially in Mediterranean region) to add the flavor to their meals. According to records they used to crush the leaves to add flavor to their meals. The main usage of these fantastic bay leaves was recorded in their meat dishes, soups, seafood, vegetable dishes and various types of sauces.
What Nutrition Does This Bay Leaf Provide Us?
Bay leaf provides many essential oils that also provide some minerals like potassium, sodium, and calcium. Bay leaf is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin B6.
Is It Just A Taste Enhancer Or Does It have Any Good Things To Do With Our Health?
# Maintains Kidney Health: Bay leaf has a property to keep the kidney in good health; it is useful to reduce the urease in the urine. Eurasia is a catalyst to degrade urease into carbon-dioxide and ammonia. This urease is responsible for kidney stones and stomach pain in many cases.
# Digestion Friendly: Bay leaf is a perfect remedy for disturbed bowels. Bay leaf boiled in a glass of water leaves the specific enzymes in water; when this water is consumed, it can stop the stomach inflammation and eases diarrhea.
# A Natural Band-aid: In ancient times bay leaf is used as an antiseptic and thus a leaf is tied over the wound to heal it and to keep away microbes.
# Sparkling Teeth: Bay leaf can save us from our embarrassment while smiling or talking because of yellow teeth. A mixture of orange peel powder and bay leaf powder can make yellow teeth to sparkle again.
# Relief In Menses: A regular consumption of bay leaf in diet regulates the irregularities in a menstrual cycle. Bay leaf also helps to cure vaginal discharge.
# Maintains Heart Health: The phytonutrients present in the bay leaf are a very powerful compound to maintain sound heart health and boosts heart function.
# A Friend During Pregnancy And Fetus: Consumption of bay leaf during pregnancy helps to keep immunity active and reduces the chances of bacterial infections. It also maintains and keeps the good health of the fetus.
# Fights Diabetes: Bay leaf is used to bring sugar levels in the blood to normal. The consumption of bay leaf stimulates insulin to work at the optimum level.
# Remedy On Hair-fall and dandruff: If you are tired of using n number of anti-hair fall shampoo and oils then try this herbal way. A cup of bay leaf tea can reduce hair fall. A rinse of bay leaf water can reduce dandruff and lies in the hair.
Let Us See A Brief History Of Laurel Nobilis
Bay Laurel or Laurel nubilis was assumed to be a symbol of victory and merit in Greece. Bay leaf tiaras and garlands were awarded to early Olympic winners and the war winners. Possessing bay leaf was assumed to be a blessing from God and protection from evil energies and natural disasters.
In What Atmospheric Conditions Does This Royal Leaf Grow?
Like almost all the spices bay leaf trees are grown in the Mediterranean region. Bay leaf tree requires a warm and humid climate. The bay leaf plantlet cannot stand against cold breeze and snow.
Bay leaf tree requires well-drained soil with good humus content. Sometimes by leaf tree grew in the poor soil also but only the requirement is excellent drainage.
Bay leaf requires moderate rainfall; if growing in the kitchen garden then regular watering in summer and little less watering during rains and winter is needed.
Bay leaf is commercially cultivated in Europe, some parts of America and Middle East Countries. Turkey, France, Morocco, Portugal, Italy, and Spain are some of the countries which yield bay leaf commercially.