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Feb 10, 2010 04:24 PM

Fresh(er) Bay Leaves

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.

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

    3 Replies
    1. re: chicgail

      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.

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

      1. re: nsxtasy

        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

        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. 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. I get mine off my Bay Tree. Never freasher

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