Bay leaf info Cooking Tips
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Bay leaf info Tips and Information|
Bay leaf info and tips will help you in your cooking and food preparation.These are very useful and quite interesting information that you learn once and then apply at any time you need it.
bay leaf info
Although the indian bay leaf comes from the indian cassia tree its properties are quite different. It grows in the hill stations of India little townships situated at high altitudes developed by the British to recreate the cool land they had left behind. The use of bay leaves in cookery had been introduced by the Mughals to India and as the British spent more and more time at their hill resorts they too became familiar with the spice end introduced it into the Raj
How it grows
indian bay leaves come from a moderately sized evergreen tree which grows to a height of up to 8m. The leaves are ready for harvesting when the trees are 10 years old and they continue to bear leaves for a century. The leaves are collected each year from young plants and every alternate year from the older ones. Small branches with leaves are dried in the rare mountain sun for 3 4 days and tied into bundles to be sent to the markets. Sometimes the leaves are separated and packed in cylindrical bamboo nets called bora or gungra. Bay leaves found in the West are similar to the indian vanety and can be used instead.
Appearance and taste
Dried indian bay leaves are dull sage green in colour and quite brittle. They range in size from 410cm. They have a sweet woody aroma quite like that of cinnamon and a neutral slightly pungent flavour. They are added to food to scent rather than flavour it.
Buying and storing
Bay leaves are available dried either whole or in pieces. Look for leaves that are green and free of mould. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
Medicinal and other uses
The leaves are carminative and used to treat colic and diarrhoea. Bay leavff are used in the clarifying process of many dyes. They are also put into some potpourri mixtures into pickles and bottled fruits.
Used chicfly in the meat and rice cookery of north India bay leaves are usually removed from a dish before serving. They are added to hot oil before the main ingredient as frying releases their sweet perfume. In the West they are used to flavour stuffings roast meats and sauces. In India they constitute a part of garam masala.
Always remove european bay leaves before serving as they are poisonous; indian bay leaves are not.
Loro in italian used to season sausages and stock and pork in vinegar.
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