Does anyone know where to buy fresh bay leaves in Manhattan?
And I was wondering how to keep them? Can they be frozen?
Kalustyan did have them today. They were next to the curry leaves in the refrigerated case on the lower level (the relatively new room), just to the left as you go down the couple of steps to that room. If fresh bay leaves behave anything like fresh curry leaves, they will lose some flavor on being frozen and will get a bit water-logged but will be usable in liquidy dishes.
123 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016
I see these sometimes at my local Associated along with all the other packaged herbs. I want to say I've seen them at Fairway as well.
Re: storage. They can last a fairly long time in the fridge if you can keep them humid without staying wet. I've kept them for a couple of weeks wrapped loosely in paper towelling and then a plastic bag.
Some aromatic leaves freeze better than they dry, but I'm not sure there's any advantage to freezing rather than drying bay leaves. I guess you don't have much to lose by trying it, though. Like Thai lime and curry leaves, they may turn dark brown in the freezer but you generally remove them before serving anyway, so that's no big deal.
As the other posts suggest, they're not uncommon around here these days even in ordinary supermarkets let alone places like Fairway, Gourmet Garage, Whole Foods, Garden of Eden, etc. (During the warm months, you can usually find bay laurel plants at Union Square, too.)