Clove belongs to the Myrtaceae family of plants. It is the aromatic flower bud. It is widely used for various purposes around the world. All parts of this plant are used, like its leaves, stems, oils, and flower buds. Clove is mostly grown in South America and Asia. It is found in different items, including savory, drinking, and deserts. Cloves are mostly used with a cinnamon combine as the combination of both boosts the flavor and aroma of the cuisines.
Cloves have a specific chemical in their oil. It is called eugenol. This chemical fights against infection and relieves pain. Therefore, along with drinks, foods, and deserts, Cloves are also used in toothpaste because it works a miracle on toothache. Thus, it is great for controlling pain and resolving issues related to dental health. Besides, it is also used for manufacturing other items like soaps, perfumes, cosmetics, and even cigarettes.
What does Clove Look Like?
Cloves are available in both ground and whole forms. And their looks vary based on their form. The whole form of cloves has a unique structure that is comparatively different from other herbs and spices. It has a reddish-brown color. They have a small size of around 1 cm. Each clove has a tiny bulbous top. However, the ground or powder form is almost the same as the other ground spices. It also has reddish-brown color but with a powder-like appearance.
Where does Clove Come From?
Clove comes from the clove trees. These trees are evergreen. They grow tall with a height of 8 meters to 12 meters. Clove has large leaves with crimson flowers. These flowers are grouped in clusters. The flower buds begin with a pale hue color. And then, they turn green with the time. While when the plant gets ready to harvest, the flower buds turn to bright red color. If we talk about regions, Clove came from Syria. History states that the first traces of Clove’s production were found in Terqa, Syria. And then, gradually it spread to other parts of the world, starting from China. Today, Cloves are found in all parts of the world like cinnamon. You won’t find a single culture that does not use this spice.
How is Clove Made?
The process of making cloves starts from the tree plantation. Once you plant the tree, water it, grow it, and make it ready to harvest, the fruits are picked to make Cloves. When the Clove reaches around 1.5 cm to 2 cm, they are harvested. Then, they are used in whole dry form or powdered form. To dry the whole form of this spice, the Cloves are washed and dried under direct sunlight. You can also use heated curing chambers like the ones used for making cardamom. Then, the dry whole Cloves are ready to use. However, for ground form, the dry Cloves are then crushed in a molcajete or any suitable machinery.
What Does Clove Taste Like?
Clove has a very intense taste and aroma. It is a warm spice. Its flavor comes from the eugenol chemical, which had been discussed above. Cloves give a unique combination of bitterness and sweetness. It is also astringent as it dries the mouth. Its taste also looks similar to allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
How is Clove Used in Cooking?
Both the whole and ground forms of Clove are used for cooking. It adds additional flavor to dishes. While cooking, you can add few pieces of whole Cloves. Then, you can add them to combine with other spices. In some traditions, they fry the Cloves before adding them to the dishes.
What Types of Cuisines Use Clove?
The major use of Cloves is found in Indian cuisines. It is used in a wide range of products like rice, soups, and sauces, etc. It is also an important ingredient in the garam masala. Moreover, this spice is also used in different desserts like pumpkin pie. Some also add it while making tea to have healthy tea with great taste and aroma.
What is a Clove Substitute?
If you get out of Cloves and you urgently need them to add to your recipe, then we have a solution for you. You can use its substitutes to have the same taste. Its substitutes include allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Where to Buy Clove?
If you are looking for some high-quality Clove products, then we have them for you. We are listing down some best Clove brands. These are discussed below.
- Organic premium-grade hand-picked whole cloves 3.5 oz finest quality. Harvested from a USDA Certified Organic Farm in Sri Lanka
- Anthony’s Organic Whole Cloves, 1 lb, Gluten-Free, Non-GMO, Non-Irradiated, Keto Friendly
- Whole Cloves Bulk 1 Pound Bag – Great for Foods, Tea, Pomander Balls, and even Potpourri – by Spicy World