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Dried vs. fresh bay leaf

This is probably a silly question but I'm sort of a cooking newbie so please forgive me!

I have a recipe that calls for a fresh bay leaf. I don't have fresh, only the dried kind. Now, I know that most dried herbs can be used interchangeably with the fresh ones, but is that true about bay leaves, too? Almost every recipe that I've seen using bay leaves always says to take out the leaf once the flavour has been absorbed. Is the bay leaf edible? It's for a dip that I'm making so I'll be giving it a whirl in the food processor once it's done. Anyone made this substitution and found that it worked out okay?

(One site found via Google actually says that if the recipe calls for a fresh bay leaf and I have to resort to using the dried kind, I might be better off using a different fresh herb.)

Thanks guys!


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 17th, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC)
I honestly don't think there's much of a difference when it comes to bay leaf.
Oct. 17th, 2008 06:11 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I've never used bay leaves before so I wasn't sure.
Oct. 17th, 2008 06:19 pm (UTC)
It's one of those herbs you don't really notice unless it's not there. :P
Ken Huggard
Jan. 19th, 2013 07:04 am (UTC)
Fresh bay leaves don't have much flavour. I have a tree and I dry them in the oven after I have used it when its still hot and cooling off.
Oct. 17th, 2008 06:11 pm (UTC)
Can't help on the substitution, but yes they are edible, though they aren't particularly nice to eat (mainly because chewing a fairly tough leaf isn't much fun). I ate one once because I was trying to be polite at a friend's house; nothing happened, but I wouldn't put it in a salad.
Oct. 18th, 2008 01:48 pm (UTC)
While bay leaves are technically edible, they shouldn't be swallowed because they can scratch the throat.
Oct. 17th, 2008 06:15 pm (UTC)
I can't believe it would make a substantial difference. Fresh bay leaves are rather difficult for most of us to come by so I'd have no hesitation about using a dried one.

They are edible but rather difficult to chew, which is why you fish them out before serving. It's like getting a mouthful of vinyl.
Oct. 17th, 2008 06:53 pm (UTC)
Bay leaves are edible in small quantities, but they're very tough. It shouldn't be hard to fish out. Just use the dried leaves, it really doesn't make that much difference... and nothing tastes like bay. :/
Oct. 17th, 2008 07:09 pm (UTC)
Very old dried bay leaves will lose flavor, as with any dried herb. But, if your dried bay leaves aren't that old, you're all set.
Oct. 17th, 2008 07:37 pm (UTC)
I would not put dry bay leaf in the food processor. Better use another fresh herb, kaffir lime leaf for example ;)
Oct. 17th, 2008 07:42 pm (UTC)
Calling for FRESH bay leaves? That's a new one on me. I wonder if the recipe writer was thinking of something other than what I'm thinking of. Even fresh bay leaves would be pretty tough to choke down, and putting the dip through the processor would probably get you small, sharp-edged bits of leaf rather than a smooth puree. Yikes. Sounds like trying another herb might be a good idea! :)
Oct. 18th, 2008 03:21 pm (UTC)
I once forgot to remove my bay leaf from a pureed soup and that is EXACTLY what happened. Little tiny bits of spiny bay leaf in with a pureed soup. Yuck.
Oct. 18th, 2008 04:14 am (UTC)
One of my friends just left the bay leaf (dried) in whatever she was food processoring/blendering at the time, thinking, "Whatever, I'm blendering it anyway!"

She ended up with shards of leaf in. . . whatever she made, I think it was actually some kind of soup. It was highly unpleasant and she's never doing that again.
Oct. 18th, 2008 07:09 am (UTC)
I use fresh bay leaves all the time. There is a huge difference.
Oct. 18th, 2008 07:07 pm (UTC)
Some people prefer the taste of dried bay leaves as when fresh they can be a bit bitter.
Nov. 15th, 2009 06:01 pm (UTC)
i actually bought a bay tree because there IS a difference....
it's fall, if you want to use dried leaves, there are plenty all over the yard....
Arthur B Raleigh
Feb. 27th, 2013 05:45 pm (UTC)
Dried bay has a deep and earthy flavor they impart on soups and such. The fresh, green leaves would just be less flavorable. I use them interchangibly!

Arthur in the Garden
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )


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