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Old 09-20-2007, 03:44 PM   #1
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I have never seen this in the US

Where I live in the US is a bit rural (Indiana), so perhaps this can be found in gourmet stores. Just wondering if dried Myrtle leaves are known very well in the US. I used them (based on advice I found on the internet) in place of bay leaves when we lived in Europe. I can't seem to find it here. On a recent trip to the UK, I grabbed a bottle of it to bring home.

Perhaps it is known by another name? Any help would be great. I'm sure someone here has bought it online at least.

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Old 09-20-2007, 05:12 PM   #2
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I checked, and neither Penzeys nor Frontier have dried myrtle. The only way I can find it to buy online is in wreaths and dried arrangements. I wonder if it's illegal to use as a food product in the USA for some reason. It does have salicylic acid, like willow bark, which is the natural form of aspirin, but I can't imagine why that would be a problem. Perhaps they're afraid someone will find a way to get high on it.
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Old 09-20-2007, 05:14 PM   #3
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Hmmm... no I can't remember seeing them sold dry for culinary use.

Though when we lived in Indianapolis we had myrtle everywhere in our yard!
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Old 09-20-2007, 06:55 PM   #4
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I found in one of my herb books and its used in mediterranean and middle eastern cooking.So Im sure it can be found but I as well had no luck searching the web.It may go by another name as well.
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Old 09-20-2007, 07:26 PM   #5
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Hey, everyone! I just did a Google search for "cooking with myrtle leaves" and came up with lots of information. Look at this link. As I said, there are plenty more. Very interesting reading.
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Old 09-20-2007, 07:43 PM   #6
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Yeah, this is the kind of info I found to *use* it when we were living abroad - basically to replace bay leaf. I'm wondering, though, about where to buy it in the US (or if anyone has known it by a different name). TIA!!
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Old 09-20-2007, 11:12 PM   #7
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According to the Wikipedia entry for "Bay Leaf" Bay leaf - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia there are several species of laurel that are used for Bay Leaf seasoning.

The California Laurel is also known as Pepperwood and Oregon Myrtle.

Note also that the flavors of different species of laurel yield different results so you may wish to try the myrtle before buying too much or using it in an important dish. You may or may not like the flavor.
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Old 09-21-2007, 12:14 AM   #8
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Myrtle

Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
Where I live in the US is a bit rural (Indiana), so perhaps this can be found in gourmet stores. Just wondering if dried Myrtle leaves are known very well in the US. I used them (based on advice I found on the internet) in place of bay leaves when we lived in Europe. I can't seem to find it here. On a recent trip to the UK, I grabbed a bottle of it to bring home.

Perhaps it is known by another name? Any help would be great. I'm sure someone here has bought it online at least.
This place claims to have them (California) Francesco Sirene, Spicer
Maybe a good bet is to grow them? Certified Organic Herbs, Herb Plants and Perennials and Richters Herbs - Medicinal, Culinary, Aromatic - Plants & Seeds are nursery suppliers who claim to be able to supply what is needed. This was just a quick search but these places list Myrtle either as a spice or as what you need to grow. Hope this helps.
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Old 09-21-2007, 05:44 AM   #9
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Thank you David - exactly what I was looking for.

Aurora - laurel and myrtle are two completely different herbs in Germany and have their own names in German. Thanks for the potentially different names in English, though. I actually just looked up Myrtle in the Wiki and it's in its own family. It's only relationship to bay leaf is that it is used similarly in the Mediterranean dishes (dh is from Turkey, which is probably why I first came across it many years ago). I think in American english it is called Myrtle, too... but it's just not a common dried herb here. Bay must be less expensive.

I learn something new everyday about food. Cool! Thanks everyone!
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Old 09-21-2007, 06:26 AM   #10
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Myrtle and Myrtle Beach I thought were the same!

Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
Thank you David - exactly what I was looking for.

Aurora - laurel and myrtle are two completely different herbs in Germany and have their own names in German. Thanks for the potentially different names in English, though. I actually just looked up Myrtle in the Wiki and it's in its own family. It's only relationship to bay leaf is that it is used similarly in the Mediterranean dishes (dh is from Turkey, which is probably why I first came across it many years ago). I think in American english it is called Myrtle, too... but it's just not a common dried herb here. Bay must be less expensive.
I learn something everyday about food. Cool! Thanks everyone!
Goodness, glad that helped. Growing up in the foothills of North Carolina we knew about Mountain Laural and even though it was a bit further we certainly knew about Myrtle Beach. Turns out I learned something about food too. Yes, this is cool. Now do I get to be a senior cook?
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