West Indian Bay Leaves (Pimenta racemosa) are fragrant and aromatic. The leaves are available year round and sold fresh or dried. With flavor that hints at cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, vanilla and cardamom it's not surprising that the tree on which the leaves grow is sometimes called The Spice Tree. It's also called bay rum and sweet bay. Regardless, the leaves make a delicious herbal tea and flavorful simple syrup.
Note: Only the leaves of Pimenta racemosa are used in cooking and tea. All other parts of the plant, including the berries, are not edible and should not be ingested.
Photo by Cynthia Nelson
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