The Noble Bay

The earliest known cookbook, featured bay laurel as an important seasoning.

| April/May 1994

Bay Recipes:

Bay Honey Custard Sauce 
Mediterranean Bay Butter 

Sidebar: What is that Scent? 

Laurus nobilis. Say it again. It has such a nice ring to it, conjuring fantasies of kings and their subjects and tales of the ancient Olympics. Call it by its homelier name, bay laurel, and it evokes the memory of hot soup on a cold rainy day. How did this magnificent evergreen tree come to be so highly regarded?

The appellation Laurus nobilis is as ancient as it is well deserved. The generic name, Laurus, the family name, Lauraceae, and the common English name, “laurel”, all are derived from the Latin name for the laurel tree. The specific name, nobilis, means “notable” or “renowned”.

Native to the Mediterranean, the tree is known as daphne– in Greece. From the ancient mists of mythology comes the tale of the sun god, Apollo, who fell in love with the nymph Daphne. She remained indifferent; her father resolved the problem by turning her into a laurel tree. From then on, Apollo wore a laurel wreath in remembrance of Daphne, and so the custom began.

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