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What are the benefits of using bay leaves in cooking?
Typically added to slow-cooking dishes from massaman curry to duck confit, bay leaves emit a more palatable gradation of flavor the longer they simmer. While a bay leaf isn't as powerful as a much-needed pinch of salt or squeeze of lemon, it is not as inconsequential as some adamantly believe.
What do bay leaves do for flavor?
When the herb is infused into water, broth, or another cooking liquid, an almost minty flavor (somewhere between spearmint and menthol) develops, with subtle hints of black pepper and Christmas tree pine. They add a subtle bitterness that keeps heavy soups and stews from being so, well, heavy.
Does bay leaf really add flavor?
Bay leaves, despite their modest appearance, are very flavorful. Like all herbs, they pack a punch in a small package, whether you use them fresh or dried. Their flavor might not be as bold and distinguishable as basil or cilantro, but it works as an aromatic to impart subtle background flavor.
What is similar to Bay Leaf?
If you have these following herbs sitting in your kitchen cabinet, it can act as an alternative for bay leaf.
- Best Bay Leaf Substitutes. Best bets: Thyme or Oregano. ...
- Thyme. ...
- Oregano. ...
- Basil. ...
- Juniper Berries. ...
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