Bay leaves are long, oval, and taper to a slender point, averaging 7-10 centimeters in length and 3-5 centimeters in width. When fresh, these short-stemmed dark green leaves are smooth and shiny on the top surface and have lighter green coloring on the bottom. When dried, Bay leaves are leathery, matte, and turn into a deep olive green. Fresh Bay leaves are more potent than dried leaves, but in either form, they offer a woodsy, herbal and slightly floral aroma reminiscent of rosemary, pine, and citrus. On the palate, Bay leaves are mild with a bitter and sharp taste with notes of mace, cardamom, oregano, and thyme.
Bay leaves are available year-round.