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Bay leaves are a staple of Mediterranean cuisines, lending a woodsy flavor to sauces, stews, and grilled meats. It's best to add whole leaves, then remove them before serving the dish. The Turkish bay leaf is smaller and less potent than the California bay leaf, but more highly prized due to the complexity of its flavor. Dried leaves are a good substitute for fresh.

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Also known as

  • Bay laurel leaf
  • Laurel leaf
  • Sweet bay laurel leaf
  • Turkish bay leaf
  • California bay leaf


One whole leaf = 1/4 teaspoon crushed. Substitute one fresh leaf for every two dried leaves, and one California bay leaf for every two Turkish bay leaves.


Indian bay leaves OR boldo leaves (stronger flavor) OR juniper berries (to flavor meat)
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