Does the Versatile Bay Leaf Have a Boring Reputation?
Saturday, Apr 22, 2017 by: Nellie G. Speck, Staff Writer

It doesn’t matter what you cook you can always rely on the humble bay leaf to dress up your food to make it appear interesting to any foodie out there.

Simply adding a leaf to any meal is said to enhance sauces and dried food, sometimes we can chop the leaf to give it that versatility in most dishes. But, do we notice the flavor?

So, what’s the big deal with a leaf called, Bay? Where does the name come from? Who originally plucked a leaf that happened to be growing in the wild? Why add a leaf to the first Spaghetti Bolognaise dish? Why is there always a leaf placed slap-bang centre of any meal? Most of all, I like to find out why do we feel the need to place a leaf resembling a piece of careless privet on our food?

Just adding a leaf to any dish can make an Instagram meal more appealing and yes, gets you the likes and followers. And, yes, it’s photogenic and does make any meal look attractive, but that’s about it. Nestled above a plethora of herbs and spices marinating in a rich sauce; the donkey-ass leaf can add magic to a dish in any photograph, however, we cannot taste a picture...Thankfully.

Why is the Humble Bay Leaf so Popular and Why do We use it in Our Everyday Cooking?

No one knows for sure why we use a leaf in many recipes to garnish a dish. However, it’s thought the psychological process when placing any leaf on top of a dish, only serves to make it Instagram-ready.

There are many points raised on the purpose with bay leaves and will always remain a mystery.

Further Reading:
Fun and Exciting Things to do with a Bay Leaf - J. Colm
Bay Leaves - Unanswered Questions, (Volumes 1 - 10) - P. Knight