The Greek myth goes like this: Dáphne, the beautiful nymph pursued by Apollo pleads to Peneus to save her from the god's overwhelming ardor. When Peneus transforms her daughter into a laurel tree, Dáphne's hair turns into the bright green leaves. Her namesake have been gracing the kitchens (and noble heads) since antiquity. In Turkey, it is spelled as "Defne", also a popular girls' name, and one of my favorite.
Daphnis & Chloe sources their bay leaves from a small farm overlooking the Ionian Sea. Imagine a simple lunch at this farm of soups, vegetable stews, lentils and beans. Bay leaves love to grace such fare, they love to go into a crowded pot taking its time on the stove. They also pair beautifully with baked fish, try tucking a leaf inside the cavity of a whole fish along with lemon slices. Keep in mind that compared to the potent Californian variety that tends to have an overpowering menthol flavor, Mediterranean bay leaves are milder and more nuanced.