I am an amateur hobbyist cook. So a lot of the time I will toss in a dash of something, taste the dish, and add a bit more. Experimenting sometimes with disastrous results... but I learn :)
One spice that I am having a hard time figuring out is the bay leaf. I use it when called for, and have sometimes experimented with it, but I can't seem to place the "effect" it has on the dish.
So my questions:
- What is the general flavor of a bay leaf, is there a dish that exemplifies this?
- How long do I need to cook with a bay leaf before it has an effect?
I think part of my quandary is that I can't simply add some to a sauce, stir it in, and taste it to see the difference. Am I wrong to believe that it takes awhile to permeate the dish?