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Bay Leaf - Will it kill you?

stellamystar Feb 9, 2008 06:23 PM

Is it true that if you swallow a bay leaf it will slit your esophagus? I was passed this information by a family member. I still cook with bay leaves, but am afraid that they will break and I will miss a piece and I will slowly bleed to death.

I wish I was kidding! Help.

  1. rockandroller1 Feb 10, 2008 05:56 AM

    In my childhood home, if you got the bayleaf (there were usually 2) in mom's homemade spaghetti sauce in your serving, you proudly waved it in the air and everyone proclaimed you would have good luck. I wonder if this was my Mom's sly way of making a game out of finding it so it wouldn't hurt you.

    2 Replies
    1. re: rockandroller1
      jodymaryk Feb 10, 2008 08:29 AM

      They will get stuck in your throat. Happened to my husband about a year ago. He jokingly said I was trying to get rid of hiim and collect the life insurance. Now I either remove them or warn whoever is eating the food to watch out for them!

      1. re: rockandroller1
        toodie jane Feb 10, 2008 08:54 AM

        my mom did the same thing. Also put a clean dime in any cake.

        I put three bay leaves in when using it. That way I know how many to count when I'm fishing them out before serving.

      2. stellamystar Feb 10, 2008 05:47 AM

        Thanks for everyone's input. I will keep my eye on them, but not imagine slow death.

        1. coll Feb 10, 2008 01:49 AM

          I recently left one in a soup I made, which got blenderized at the end,. and there were little pieces throughout. We were halfway through when I realized and no harm done, but if you put in more than one, definitely keep count! They were really sharp.

          1. b
            bite bite Feb 9, 2008 08:57 PM

            I don't sweat this stuff -- but do have memories to crunching down one more than one of these suckers in my dad's stews growing up. I suppose a truly concerned individual could put the bay leaves into a cheese-cloth bag to keep them together and then fish them out after cooking. Although the cheese-cloth bag could be a bigger choking hazard if left in and there was a particularly greedy guzzler at the table.

            1. rworange Feb 9, 2008 08:50 PM

              Powdered bay leaf is available.

              1. m
                maisonbistro Feb 9, 2008 06:37 PM

                They won't "slit" your esophagus, but they are notorious for getting stuck in your throat. That can lead to choking. You should always remove bay leaves before serving, and never use broken bay leaves.

                1 Reply
                1. re: maisonbistro
                  karykat Feb 9, 2008 08:22 PM

                  A long time ago (several decades) I did have a friend start choking on a bay leaf at the table. It ended up dislodging in time, but it was frightening. I haven't thought about that for many years -- until this post raised the question. And I guess I am not slavish about removing them. Most of the time eaters can see them and remove them. But maybe it makes sense to be a bit more careful.

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