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Author Topic: Bay leaves for cooking are good but can you cook with bay seeds?  (Read 1988 times)

Offline P-Kasso2

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Just been given armfuls of beautifully fresh bay leaves by a neighbour who is pruning her rampant bay tree.

I now have enough for several lifetimes of stews - but the question is: Can you use the bay seeds?

There are hundreds of these dinky little seed clusters on the branches and it seems a total shame to waste them.

Can I grind them? Toast them? Do something with them?

These are Laurus Nobilis - aka the culinary bay leaf. So far so good.

The reason I ask is that I was always taught to discard the bay leaves completely after cooking (probably because the usual dried bay leaves you can buy in vastly expensive tiny little jars in supermarkets are tough and leathery but bad for you? Who knows...is it just a Mother's story?

Maybe the leaves are bad for you if ingested - does the same go for all these seeds?

Really hope someone knows the answer before I get a dose of the squits.


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Offline macavity

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Re: Bay leaves for cooking are good but can you cook with bay seeds?
« Reply #1 on: 11 April, 2009, 05:05:13 PM »
The bay leaf is used in a bouquet garni for stews and casseroles and discarded before serving the food out.

The berries of the bay tree are used in the distillation of the spirit of aromatic herbs called Fioravanti.

Not sure about what you can actually use the seeds for but would imagine they are indigestible as is the leaf.

This site will tell you more about the bay tree.

http://www.gardenaction.co.uk/fruit_veg_diary/fruit_veg_mini_project_september_3_bay2.asp
« Last Edit: 11 April, 2009, 05:16:28 PM by macavity »

Offline Blacksmith81

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Re: Bay leaves for cooking are good but can you cook with bay seeds?
« Reply #2 on: 12 April, 2009, 04:26:15 PM »
The quote below comes from Culpepper's Herbal, written by Nicolas Culpepper in 1652:

'The berries are very effectual against all poison of venomous creatures, and the sting of wasps and bees; as also against the pestilence, or other infectious diseases, and therefore put into sundry treacle's for that purpose; they likewise procure women's courses, and seven of them given to women in sore travail of child-birth, do cause a speedy delivery, and expel the after-birth, and therefore not to be taken by such as have not gone out their time, lest they procure abortion, or cause labour too soon.'

Thus I would personally advise against using them in cooking.

Bay berries should only be used for Topical Applications, they can be toxic, if ingested.

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Atlantis/3699/laurel.htm
« Last Edit: 12 April, 2009, 04:45:41 PM by Blacksmith81 »

Offline P-Kasso2

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Re: Bay leaves for cooking are good but can you cook with bay seeds?
« Reply #3 on: 13 April, 2009, 10:55:02 AM »
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Blacksmith- thanks for the warning - saved me a trip to the khazi!
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