Used for shorter cooking times, the California Bay leaf hints at camphor and eucalyptus. The large dried leaves of the bay laurel tree are one of the best herbs for soups, broths, rice, and sauces, giving a mild, delicious savory taste. Bay leaves are among the oldest known cooking herbs.
There is a distinct difference between California Bay Leaf and Turkish Bay leaf. They are actually 2 different types of species from similar plants or shrubs. The California bay leaf has a much stronger menthol flavor than its cousin, which is why it is good to use this one for cooking shorter amounts of time. Not only are they different in flavor, but they are also different in shape. The California Bay Leaf is longer and pointier than the Turkish Bay Leaf, so you can usually tell which one you have.
California Bay Leaves are the most commonly found in grocery stores. They are usually used to cook with then discarded at the end of the cooking process because of their rough texture. They add such a good flavor that you do not need to keep it in the dish, as it could scratch your throat with how rough it is. We even recommend storing your dried bay leaf in the freezer if you know you will not be using them right away, this keeps the flavor of them for a longer time.
Fresh bay leaves have way more of a kick to them, and they are almost all the Californian Bay Leaf. Most recipes will call for Turkish Bay Leaves as to not overpower the dish, but if you only have California Bay Leaves, we suggest halving the amount used in the dish. Also, most dishes will call for dried bay leaves, which is why we sell it this way.
Try our California Bay leaves here.