It is a flower bud and Spice known for its aromatic nature. It has several health benefits and is used in different dishes. It contains many nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals too.
Like all other spices, clove also has a long shelf-life. Once you store them, you can utilize them for a very long period. Yes, it does go bad but not in a traditional sense. When a clove goes bad, it means it has lost its potency.
But if you store it accurately, the cloves will not lose the potency or flavor very quickly. And you can enjoy it.
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How to store clove?
There is no unique way of storing clove. You can store coves the same way other spices are stored. But storing spices is different from storing vegetables or fruits. So to store cloves, you have to adopt certain specific ways.
The shelf-life of the clove also depends on how you store it. Following are some methods you can use to store cloves. In this way, it will remain fresh and full of flavor.
Keep it in the kitchen pantry
Storing clove in the kitchen pantry is a good idea. The temperature is suitable to store cloves. It will stay fresh in the pantry for quite an along. And you can use it as long as you want.
But still, it is the short-term process of storing cloves. However, it will stay fresh for some time but not too long.
Keep it away from sunlight
It is highly suggested to keep the clove away from sunlight. Humidity, air, or heat all plays a role in having detrimental effects. They have the capacity to break down chemical compounds.
The chemical compounds are known as an essential oil. Once it is lost, even if it has not gone bad, it won’t add flavor to dishes because it is the essential oil that gives it a unique taste.
Use an air-tight container for storage
The air-tight containers are a good option to utilize to store the cloves. The glass or plastic container is more appropriate. You can use Stainless steel jars, but it is not that suitable because it is a conductor of heat.
In an air-tight container, air cannot pass through it, keeping it fresh. Otherwise, if exposed to air, it will absorb the moisture, and it will change its color. Keep an eye on the container to check the growth of molds. Discard the cloves.
Can you freeze clove?
Yes, you can freeze the clove while storing them in the air-tight container first. But it depends on the form of clove. It determines its lasting period.
If you plan on using the cloves daily, do not put the cloves in the freezer. Because by taking it out daily from the freezer, the air will possibly pass through the container. It will ruin your cloves.
If you want to place cloves in the freezer, remember to put half of the cloves you will not use daily. And the cloves used daily to keep it in the pantry.
How long does clove last?
It totally depends on what procedure you adopt for storage. It can last you for few months, or it can also last you more than one year. But it does not completely go bad.
It just losses the aroma it has. But even that does not completely vanish. It will surely last longer if you keep it at a cool temperature. That is the ideal temperature.
If you store the clove in kitchen cabinets, it will last you up to four to six months. After that, it will start losing its aroma.
If you store it in the fridge, it will last you up to one to three years. But clove in the grounded form will last you one to two years. Keep in mind that does not place it with other high aromatic herbs or spices.
In comparison to that, it is recommended to purchase the whole clove. The whole clove has a higher potency than that of grounded clove.
How to tell if clove is bad?
There are ample ways to know if the clove has gone bad or not. If you come across any of the indicators mention below, do not use the clove. There is no harm in using the clove.
But it makes no sense to use clove that has lost its aroma, taste, and nutrients to an extent. Following are the indicators you have to keep an eye on.
- The clove will start losing color. It clearly indicates that cloves have gone bad. And it would be best if you discarded them right away.
- The other thing to notice is if you wanted to know cloves gone bad, check for the growth of molds inside the jar. The molds inside the jar will ruin the cloves as well.
- And if physically there is no damage, you can see. But you doubt that the clove has gone bad, you have to give a taste test.
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
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