I am making something right now which calls for a single bay leaf. The leaf is dry and as stiff as a board, and after boiling in water for an hour, it will remain as stiff as a board. How much flavor could one piece of cardboard give to a soup? I think that there is a conspiracy amongst bay leaf growers and recipe writers to make sure that bay leaves are included in most recipies, and then the profits of the sales of bay leaves are split amongst the conspirators. What a SCAM!!!