Ask Sara: TV Chef Answers Your Questions


Sondra: I never understood the use of the bay leaf in so many recipes, to me there is no added taste or flavor ? Can you explain this herb to me?

Sara's Answer: Sondra

Bay leaf actually does have a very distinct flavor and taste – if you took a fresh leaf and crushed it between your fingers and then smelled your fingers I think you would know what I am talking about. I am wondering if you might have an old jar of dried bay leaves that you are using? The flavor of all dried herbs and spices fades with time. California bay leaves are much stronger than Turkish bay leaves and I actually prefer that latter. I use them in soups and stews to which they add a nice subtle perfume.

For more tips from Sara Moulton check out her website.

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