Sweet Bay

>> Saturday 19 June 2010

Tear or crush a fresh bay leaf with your hands and smell it and you'll quickly understand why it is the most widely used culinary herb. I'm sure that you've used bay leaves many times in your various food preparations - stews, soups, casseroles etc. You might be interested to know how we use it here in the Caribbean - primarily for its folk properties. Read all about it in this week's column. Who knows, you may discover, yet another way to use bay leaves.

It is also important to note that all bay leaves are not the same. They may have similar properties and be of the same family of evergreen trees but they are not all the same in terms of flavour and intensity.

If you've never had bay-leaf tea, you've got to give it a try. Check out the column for bay-leaf tea combos.

Bay-leaf Tea


3 large fresh West Indian bay leaves (or the fresh variety you have available to you)
2 cups water
Sugar (if you take sugar with your tea)


  1. Add water and bay leaves to saucepan, cover and bring to a boil. Let boil for 4 minutes, turn off heat and let steep for 4 minutes
  2. Strain and sweeten


  • You can opt to let the tea steep until it comes to room temperature, strain, reheat, then sweeten and drink
  • The number of bayleaves for this tea may vary depending on the variety you are using
  • Add more leaves to this tea if you like your tea stronger


  • Bay leaf iced tea
  • Bay leaf simple syrup
  • Check column for other suggestions

To all the Dads that read this blog: HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!

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