American Herbs

American Herbs
California bay leaf
California bay leaf
The more potent California bay leaf is highly prized due to the complexity of its flavor.
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filé powder
filé powder
This powder is made from the same sassfras tree leaves that used to give root beer its distinctive flavor, back in the days before artificial flavorings. Southerners add filé to their gumbos to thicken and flavor them. The powder gets stringy when it's heated, so add it only after you've removed the gumbo from the heat source. Filé also doesn't reheat well, so add it only to the gumbo that you're planning to eat right away.
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