Thursday, November 2, 2017

Bay leaf in ancient culture

Bay leaves come from the ancient Mediterranean by laurel tree and are one of the most widely used culinary herbs in Europe and North America.

The Oracle at Delphi ate a bay leaf before expounding her wisdom. The trees a sacred to Apollo, the god of prophesy, so the Oracle apparently knew where to get her information.

The roof of the Temple at Delphi was made of bay leaf. The common use of bay in Greek and Roman architecture has resulted in the adaption of the leaves into a standard architectural element.

The ancient Greeks used bay leaves to adorn their victorious athletes at the Olympics games, and Greek poets and scholars were granted wreaths of bay leaves upon completion of their studies; the modern world baccalaureate.

According to Theophrastus superstitious Greeks would keep a bay leaf in their months all day, to preserve themselves from misfortunes.

The Romans are credited with spreading a taste for cheeses cake around Europe. Early Roman cheesecakes were loaves made of ricotta and honey and flavored with bay leaf, which also served as a preservative.
Bay leaf in ancient culture
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