Bay leaf is an herb that imparts a good flavor for any cooking especially European cuisine. I use it practically for all my Spanish style recipes like adobo, menudo, afritada and much more.
I want to use it so much I bought a small plant and it is taller now. I actually pruned it already so it would be only 5 ft. tall in accordance with our rules in the community garden. The part I pruned I dried so I have freshly dried leaves ready to use in my cooking.
Bouquet Garni includes bay leaf, thyme and parsley, but sometimes includes sage, rosemary and tarragon. Bouquet garni is a term used using a bundle of herbs either tied or placed in a cheesecloth sachet and used as part of the cooking method and then being removed afterwards.
I did not see a bay leaf tree when I was growing up in the Philippines so I was happy to grow it myself here in Hawaii. I remember just buying the dried bay leaves in the stores and sometimes it includes kanela or cinnamon sticks, cloves or star anise and some peppercorns. We use that combination in our famous recipe “Estofado”, a dish which is mainly prepared during Fiesta and other special occasions.