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Ask a Foodie: Can You Eat Mountain Laurel? (No!)

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Q: Mountain laurel smells like Grape Kool-Aid, but is it any relation to bay laurel? Can you eat it?

Mountain Laurel1— James

A: Do not eat mountain laurel, no matter how food-like it may smell, and it does smell like artificial grape candy, gum or Kool-Aid. It is highly poisonous. Make sure your dogs don’t eat it either.

Also, the leaves of the mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) may look like a bay laurel (Laurus nobilis), but they are not related.

So, just enjoy the gorgeous purple flowers of the mountain laurel while it’s in season, and leave the seasoning of your next stew to bay leaves.

For more information on The Dangers of Mountain Laurel Flowers, click here.

Another factor to bear in mind: The aroma of the mountain laurel may seem intoxicating, but don’t get too close to get a better sniff. Bees love their fragrance, too, and can often be found swarming the flowers.

If you have an Ask a Foodie question, email walker@savorsa.com or griffin@savorsa.com.

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