When we enter a Moroccan restaurant, we are drawn to the chicken tagines, which offer an intense piney sweet flavor from its simmering bay leaves. Also called true laurel or sweet bay, bay leaf has a different flavor and appearance from the other so-called bay leaves such as the Indian, Indonesian or West Indian. Though symbolic to the Greeks, the Romans first used it as a spicing. Today it is cultivated in Mexico, France, Turkey, Greece and the U.S. and sold as whole, crushed or ground. It is an essential spicing in Mediterranean meals, especially Turkish, North African and French. It adds a strong pungent taste with nutmeg and clove like notes to soups, bouillabaisse, pickled or grilled fish, kebabs, and steamed dishes.