Bay Leaves are rarely used fresh, as dried bay leaves have a more pleasant, sweeter flavor than fresh and the flavor becomes more intense the longer it cooks. Bay Leaves are also known as True Laurel, Sweet Bay and Bay Herb. Indigenous to Asia and the Mediterranean, today Bay Leaves are also grown in France, Greece, Guatemala, Mexico, North America and Russia. Bay Leaves have a long storied history as at the first Olympic games in 776 B.C. the champions were awarded, not with gold medals but with bay garlands. In early Greece and Rome bay wreaths were used to crown kings, priests, prophets and the victors of scholarly and athletic contests.Today cooks repel grain beetles by adding several bay leaves to containers of stored beans and grains. Bay Leaf has a bitter, spicy, strong and pungent flavor with a cooling undertone. The taste is piney with hints of nutmeg and clove with camphor-like notes. As with many spices and flavorings, the fragrance of the bay leaf is more noticeable than its taste. When dried and crushed the leaves possess a powerful aroma that is sweet and a bit grassy. the fragrance is herbal, slightly floral, and somewhat similar to oregano and thyme. The flavor of our Turkish bay leaves is more complex and far milder than North American grown bay. Bay Leaves are a staple ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine and are also found in many Armenian, Greek, North African and Turkish dishes.In Europe they are typically added to soups, stews, pickles and in fish and meat marinades. The French add them to their popular bouquet garni and bouillabaisse. The Moroccans add bay leaves to their pickled fish, stews and tagines. In Turkish cuisine they're added to kebabs, fish casseroles and grilled fish. One or two bay leaves are typically enough flavoring for most dishes of six servings.