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Fresh(er) Bay Leaves

c
chirs Feb 10, 2010 04:24 PM

Any idea where to get fresh bay leaves in Chicago? If a recipe calls for 1 bay leaf I usually dump 5 of those cracked grey ones that come in bulk at Mexican markets...but I'm sure I'm missing out on something by doing that.

  1. chicgail Feb 10, 2010 06:13 PM

    I like the bay leaves I get at the Spice House. Locations in Evanston and on Wells St.

    3 Replies
    1. re: chicgail
      nsxtasy Feb 10, 2010 07:29 PM

      Yup, I get mine at the Spice House too. In addition to the two locations mentioned by chicgail, they also have a location in west suburban Geneva. www.thespicehouse.com

      Penzeys, a separate spice chain with a family connection to the Spice House, has stores in west suburban Oak Park and Naperville. www.penzeys.com

      1. re: nsxtasy
        l
        le_cygne Feb 10, 2010 10:25 PM

        I'll second the recommendation for either Penzeys or Spice House. I generally get mine from Penzeys for convenience, but both are comparable and excellent, in my opinion.

      2. re: chicgail
        p
        Possumlad Jan 6, 2011 05:43 AM

        The Whole Foods in Lincoln Park (new North/Sheffield) stocks fresh bay leaves. They are located in the produce section near the other fresh herbs. Near the mushrooms & hot peppers.

      3. e
        Eldon Kreider Feb 11, 2010 03:35 PM

        Are you looking for fresh bay leaves or dried bay leaves that are not stale? The suggestions in the thread are good for dried bay leaves of quality. For fresh you need to grow your own, which I do. There is no comparison between dried bay leaves, no matter how good, and fresh.

        1. a
          ALITIN Feb 11, 2010 06:30 PM

          I get mine off my Bay Tree. Never freasher

          1. d
            duck833 Feb 11, 2010 06:37 PM

            Same here, I have a huge bay leaf tree, enough for the entire neighborhood if not the town.

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