Deutsch: Blatt
A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant, as defined in botanical terms, and in particular in plant morphology. Foliage is a mass noun that refers to leaves as a feature of plants. Typically a leaf is a thin, flattened organ borne above ground and specialized for photosynthesis, but many types of leaves are adapted in ways almost unrecognisable in those terms: some are not flat (for example many succulent leaves and conifers), some are not above ground (such as bulb scales), and some are without major photosynthetic function (consider for example cataphylls, spines, and cotyledons).

In the food context, "leaf" usually refers to the leaves of plants that are used in cooking, either as a main ingredient or as a flavoring agent.

Some examples of leaves that are commonly used in cooking include:

  • Basil: A fragrant leaf herb that is commonly used in Italian and Thai cuisine, often in sauces and pestos.
  • Spinach: A leafy green vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked and is commonly used in salads, pastas, and other dishes.
  • Kale: A leafy green vegetable that is similar to spinach, but with a stronger flavor and tougher texture. It is often used in salads, soups, and stir-fries.
  • Cilantro: A pungent herb with a distinct flavor that is commonly used in Mexican, Thai, and Indian cuisine, often in salsas and curries.
  • Mint: A refreshing herb that is commonly used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, often in salads and teas.
  • Bay leaves: A fragrant leaf that is commonly used to flavor soups, stews, and other savory dishes.

Similar ingredients to leaves include:

  • Herbs: Like basil, cilantro, and mint, there are many other herbs that are commonly used in cooking, either as a main ingredient or as a flavoring agent.
  • Greens: Like spinach and kale, there are many other leafy greens that can be eaten raw or cooked and are often used in salads and other dishes.
  • Spices: Like bay leaves, there are many other dried spices that are commonly used to flavor savory dishes, including cinnamon, cumin, and paprika.

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