Monday, December 28, 2009

Attack of the Bay Leaves

Three bay leavesI was taught that cooks should always remove bay leaves (Laurus nobilis) from food before serving.

I never wondered much about why. I vaguely imagined they were poisonous, but if I'd exerted half a brain cell, I would have realized it makes no sense that it would be safe to cook them with the food, but poisonous to consume them whole.

My mother-in-law happened to mention the reason the other day during one of our holiday gatherings: bay leaves are rigid and sharp enough to perforate the intestine.

Wow! Now there's a reason to remove them.


Ms Sparrow said...

Amen! I once got a bay leaf stuck in my throat. It HURT!

Carmella said...

I read a fiction book once where people were murdered by someone slipping chopped up tiger whiskers into their drinks -- to much the same end.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Once again: huh!