In a nutshell: In Indonesia, they use the leaves of the salam tree much as we do bay leaves in a wonderful array of vegetable and coconut curries.
The brownish dried leaves of salam (Syzygium polyanthum), also known as Indonesian bay leaf or laurel, may not look that impressive but once their flavour is released through slow-cooking, you'll be mighty impressed! Hard to find outside of Indonesia, this herb is added to meat and vegetable curries, stews and sauces. Delicious in fragrant lodeh, an aubergine, bean, pumpkin and coconut curry.
About Épices de Cru
Épices de Cru began in 1982 as a catering partnership between Philippe and Ethné de Vienne. Their mission was a kind of “cooking pot anthropology:” learning the secrets of family cooking around the world and applying these techniques to the needs of hungry Montrealers. The secret, they learned, was spices. Over the last two decades, Philippe and Ethné have searched for the world’s best spices, accompanied by their children, Marika and Arik. The de Viennes believe in direct sourcing spices: visiting growing regions, spending time with growers, and developing personal relationships that last decades. In 2004, they officially opened their first spice shop in Montreal’s fantastic Jean Talon market– it’s since become a mecca for foodies from all over the world. I first visited in 2008 and have been buying and using their spices on a regular basis ever since that first exciting visit. They steadfastly maintain that they do nothing original, only facilitating the exchange of culinary common sense from one place to another. But, what they do is simply quite brilliant - by providing us with the finest quality ingredients, and their superb spice mixes, we can all experiment with unusual spices and recreate delicious recipes from around the world.