Bay leaf is a standard cooking ingredient in many savory dishes. Though available fresh, it’s typically easier to find bay leaves dried.
They are used to flavor soups, stews, and sauces — just remove them prior to serving because they have a bitter taste.
Culinary uses aside, researchers have also looked into bay leaf for its potential health benefits.
This herb, Laurus nobilis, comes from the evergreen bay laurel family, native to the Mediterranean. The two most common types are Turkish, with long oval leaves, and Californian, with long narrow leaves.