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Old 05-21-2014, 06:28 PM   #11
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That must be the secret--the bay leaves I've bought in the past had almost not odor at all. We don't have Penzeys or The Spice Shop here, so have to make due with what is available. I've been using fresh bay since about 1987 when I bought my first bay tree. This is the first time it dried up in the winter (I have had the "tree" die because of various reasons that I forget) and I really noticed a difference in the scent (have to say it is much stronger than the dry bay leaves in the cupboard...but then, those are probably very. very old bay leaves...). Do Turkish bay leaves look the same or are they like Indian bay leaves (which are actually cinnamon leaves, I believe)?
They do mail order at reasonable prices.
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Old 05-21-2014, 06:38 PM   #12
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They do mail order at reasonable prices.
That's to US addresses. Customs could be a real PITA for Canadian orders.
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Old 05-21-2014, 10:19 PM   #13
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That's to US addresses. Customs could be a real PITA for Canadian orders.
Have you tried this place? They are located in Calgary.

Silk Road Spice Merchant

Yelp and Google both rate them 5 stars.
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Old 05-21-2014, 11:04 PM   #14
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Have you tried this place? They are located in Calgary.

Silk Road Spice Merchant

Yelp and Google both rate them 5 stars.
Thank you.

That might be useful for CWS. I can go to a huge spice store in Montreal at the Atwater Market. Silk Road has a fixed rate by province for shipping, but without giving my name and address, I can't get the site to tell me how much it would be.
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Old 05-21-2014, 11:38 PM   #15
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Thanks, Steve. Of the spices on this page Silk Road Spice Merchant

I am missing 11 of them.
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Old 05-22-2014, 08:33 AM   #16
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Thanks, Steve. Of the spices on this page Silk Road Spice Merchant

I am missing 11 of them.
Wow, cool site. I didn't know birch bark was a spice. We used to have a wine and cheese shop that had goat cheese with fennel pollen. It was amazingly good.
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Old 05-22-2014, 08:51 AM   #17
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Wow, cool site. I didn't know birch bark was a spice. We used to have a wine and cheese shop that had goat cheese with fennel pollen. It was amazingly good.
My mom gave me some fennel pollen in a ziplock and it totally stunk up the whole house. I had to put the bag in a glass jar.

Not sure what I'm going to do with that.
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Old 05-22-2014, 12:48 PM   #18
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Wow, cool site. I didn't know birch bark was a spice.
I didn't know that, either. Four years ago I judged a wine competition in England, and was surprised to find several entries made from sweet birch sap. It has a flavor similar to wintergreen. I wonder if the bark has the same flavor.
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Old 05-22-2014, 01:14 PM   #19
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I have birch trees...but I think mine are yellow birch...I'm not about to go outside and start tasting bark........I can see where it would have a "wintergreeny" sort of taste. That is what I think of when I smell freshly cut birch.
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:43 AM   #20
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I have had a bay tree for years that I put outside in the summer, haul in for the winter. This past winter, the leaves dried up. I thought it was a goner--now it has some side shoots (these appeared after I spent $10 on a replacement one). I cut the other branches back (it is only 2 ft tall) and stripped the dried leaves (I have enough to last my lifetime and then some). Rachel Ray always uses fresh bay leaves--as have I until leaves dried up. The bay leaves one buys in the store smell nothing like the ones that I pulled off the branches of my bay tree. Totally different scent. Knowing this, I would never buy bay leaves--a waste of money. There isn't enough flavour in them to make it worthwhile adding them to a dish. As for the fresh ones, you don't have to worry about leaving them in a soup or stew. They are soft, no rough edges.
I have a bay tree in a pot on the south side of the house. I find that commercially dried bay leaves smell stronger than my fresh ones but I haven't tried drying my own yet.

Fresh leaves have only started cropping up on British cooking programmes this last year or two. Previously there was no question - everyone used dried even "celebrity" chefs. I put the growing use of fresh bay leaves down to global warming. Until recently you could only grow bay trees out of doors in a few warm pockets of the British Isles but the are becoming a common garden plant nowadays,
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