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FAQs about bay leaves
Fresh bay leaves placed in a bag or container then stored in the fridge can last for up two weeks. Store dried bay leaves in a sealed container in a dark, dry, and cool spot such as in the pantry or kitchen cabinet. Well-stored dried bay leaves can last up to two years before they lose their aroma. Storing dried bay leaves in the freezer can also help retain their floral potency and flavor.
Fresh bay leaves are paler green on the underside and shiny green on top. However, these colors mute and become more uniform as they dry. Their flavor also intensifies as they dry. While fresh bay leaves are more expensive than dried ones, they can't last as long as dried bay leaves. Cooking for too long with fresh bay leaves can overpower a dish, so consider removing them early during the process.
Bay leaves lose a lot of this vibrancy once dried. The flavor imparted by dried bay leaves tends to be more subtle than fresh bay leaves. You can leave dried bay leaves in a dish and remove them once cooking is complete. No herb can substitute for fresh bay leaves because they tend to lose their aroma more easily and quickly than dried leaves. The scent produced by one bay leaf is equivalent to two dried bay leaves.