Bay leaves, which are up to 10 cm long and 5 cm wide, are the dried, short stemmed, leathery leaves of the evergreen sweet bay
tree (Lauraceae family). They exude a strong odor and have a delicately bitter taste. A fresh, good quality product has an attractive green colour, especially on the top of the leaf. Leaves
which have been stored for too long are yellowish brown, brittle and include fragments. Provided that the recommended storage
conditions are complied with, bay leaves may bekept for up to 24 months.