Casie Becker wrote:
I think bay leaves are actually "bay laurel" leaves. It's the actual original spice. I have heard of people substituting several native plants for bay leaves, though. Myrtle and Umbellularia californica (which has a huge number of common names including California Laurel) are two of them. Myrtle apparently also has berries that can serve as a substitute for allspice.
Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:You started the thread with asking for a natural herb to replace vanilla. Here we have a wild herb, the English name is Meadowsweet, in Latin Filipendula ulmaria. It seems the root of that plant gives a vanilla-like taste when added to desserts. I did not yet try it, but I have the plant growing near my small pond.
Skandi Rogers wrote:
Meadowsweet (Filipindula ulmaria)
Use in moderation,it contains asprin
The species were in the past sometimes treated in a broad view of the genus Spiraea, but genetic research has shown that they are less closely related than previously considered.