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Bay (Laurus Nobilis)
An evergreen tree, native to Southern Europe, and belonging to the Lauraceae family; it produces flat leaves which are used as a herb.
In Roman times, a bay wreath became a mark of excellence for poets and athletes - so a sign of wisdom and glory. In medieval times leaves were inserted in flour to deter weevils.
Too many can produce heart palpitations, so much so, that some famous chefs - such as Albert Roux, don't use them. In classical French cuisine, they are a necessary ingredient of bouquet garni. See "Bouquet Garni"