Clove, (Syzygium aromaticum), a tropical evergreen tree of the family Myrtaceae and its small reddish-brown flower buds used as a spice. Cloves were important in the earliest spice trade and are believed to be indigenous to the Moluccas, or Spice Islands, of Indonesia.
Cloves contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals, so using whole or ground cloves to add flavor to your food can provide some important nutrients. Some research suggests that the compounds found in cloves might help protect against cancer.
Place of Origin
Origins. Cloves are believed to be native to the Molucca Islands of Indonesia. Although Indonesia is the largest producer of Cloves, Zanzibar, and Madagascar are the major exporters, where Clove trees cover thousands of acres of the islands. Historically, Cloves originating from Madagascar have been considered superior.
Ground or whole cloves flavor meat, sauces, and rice dishes. Cloves are often used along with cinnamon and nutmeg in sweet dishes, especially “pumpkin pie” flavored items for the autumn and winter holidays, and in drinks such as mulled wine, cider, or chai.
Clove is a plant grown in parts of Asia and South America. People use the oils, dried flower buds, leaves, and stems to make medicine. Clove is most commonly applied directly to the gums for toothache, pain control during dental work, and other dental-related issues.
Taste and Aroma Description
Both the taste and aroma of this spice are incredibly intense. … The taste is pungent, strong and sweet with a bitter, astringent flavor as well. Cloves also have a distinct and undeniable warmth; to some, the flavor is almost hot. This spice is simply that intense!
Store both whole and ground cloves in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark, dry place. Ground cloves may keep for up to three months, while whole cloves may stay fresh for about a year.