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Dec 6, 2006 09:15 PM

not eating the bay leaf- why?

I've always heard that you are to not eat the bay leaf in dishes. Why, does it make you sick or something?

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  1. No, but it's not digestible. It will pass through mostly unchanged. And it tastes pretty strong.

    2 Replies
    1. re: PDXpat

      not to mention it could easily get stuck in your throat. even after cooked for a while, its is still pretty tough.

      1. re: ESNY

        Just thinking about a bay leaf stuck in my throat made me gag!

    2. Not sure about the sick part, but bay leaves are very tough, and no amount of cooking softens them up, they're just unpleasant in the mouth. Their flavor is also very concentrated, and a whole leaf in your mouth doesn't actually taste so good. Old Bay Seasoning uses ground bay leaf, so it can't make you sick.

      1. Was once told that the pointy edges can wreak havoc on the lining of the digestive system, a bit like eating glass.

        2 Replies
        1. re: carswell

          I heard this too. The larger leaves can be quite needle-y in their spines. I don't know if this is enough to perforate the gut, but I wouldn't want to risk whatever pain that bay-leaf puncture might cause

          1. re: carswell

            I was taught it can perforate the stomach, apparently this can be quite serious.

          2. I thought they were poisonous

            1 Reply
            1. re: marlie202

              You'd hardly use them in cooking then...!

            2. It's like chewing on something woody. Very tough.