Bay leaves may often just lay modestly on our spice shelves, but in the form of laurel wreaths, they have adorned some of the greatest minds the world has seen. High time we featured Bay Leaf as our Spice of the Week.
The symbolic meaning of these leaves go way back to Greek antiquity, where the plant they come from was considered to be the plant of Apollo, god of the sun. Legend had it that Apollo fell in love with Daphne, a nymph who was changed into a laurel tree by Peneos, the river god. Apollo, in his love for the girl, came to view this tree as sacred. Got to love the ancient Greeks and their flair for drama!
Check out more trivia, and a recipe for Dalmatian goulash at the Biodiversity Library Exhibition!
Alternate recipe: "Žitomírská" Ukrainian pork roast
500 g pork
10 large potatoes
100 g lard
handful dried mushrooms
3 tablespoon tomato paste
3 cloves garlic
3 bay leaves
Cut meat into 3 - 4 pieces, bake in 50 g lard, add tomato paste, sauté and simmer. Slice potatoes and carrots, fry in remaining lard, add sliced onion, pepper and salt. Simmer briefly and add to meat. Cook dried mushrooms in 200 ml water, chop finely and together with cooking water, add to meat and vegetables. Add bay leaves, garlic to taste, cover for 3 – 4 minutes and serve.