The difference between fresh and dried bay leaves
Sometimes hobby cooks and gardeners stubbornly believe that fresh bay leaves are poisonous. However, this is not correct, unless it is confused with the cherry laurel, which is actually poisonous when consumed. But it is definitely the case that fresh bay leaves season a lot more than dried ones. Since many bitter substances evaporate from the leaves when they dry, dishes made with fresh bay leaves are usually spicier and slightly bitter in taste. Even if bay leaves are by no means good, they are usually not eaten anyway. Since the leaves have a very hard consistency even after cooking, they are often fished out of soups and stews before serving.
- Are leaves or other parts of the laurel poisonous or not?
- Harvest laurel from your own cultivation correctly
- Pull the bay leaves in the pot and overwinter
Cut the laurel correctly
When harvesting bay leaves as a medicinal and aromatic plant, you should consider a few things, for example:
- the right time
- the type of cut
- a quick and proper drying
In general, you should not cut rooted bay leaf cuttings in the year after propagation if you do not want to seriously disturb the health of the plants. In principle, leaves can be plucked off all year round for fresh use in the kitchen, but for drying larger quantities, it is advisable to harvest branches in spring or autumn. Even with larger laurel hedges, you should never cut the shape with an electric hedge trimmer (€ 135.56 at Amazon *), otherwise the leaves cut in the middle can result in ugly brown discolorations on the hedge.
Drying bay leaves properly as a kitchen spice
When properly stored, dried bay leaves retain their flavor intensity for about one to two years. To do this, pick the young shoots from the laurel bushes and hang them upside down in the form of small bundles in a well-ventilated place. Regularly shaking or moving the laurel bundle ensures that it dries evenly without sticking leaves or mold.
Tips & Tricks
Fresh and dried bay leaves should always be torn lightly when cooking, because this way they can better transfer their aroma to the various foods.
The garden journal freshness-ABC
How can fruit and vegetables be stored correctly so that they stay fresh as long as possible?
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