Story: The word clove comes from the Latin word clavus, meaning "nail", which is an accurate description of the appearance of this most pungent spice. Native to Southeast Asia, cloves are now cultivated in tropical climates such as Tanzania, Sri Lanka and the Caribbean. These flower buds are picked when bright and pink, then are dried to the deep brown familiar to the spice world.
Flavors: Extremely aromatic, cloves are distinctive enough to elicit their name in the description of other spices. A bitter taste is tempered by the sweet, fragrant, spicy smell, reminiscent of the holidays.
Use: Cloves can be inserted into larger aromatics such as onions, garlic bulbs or lemons, then stuffed inside poultry for roasting, and are used to stud hams before baking. Wrap them in cheesecloth with cinnamon, nutmeg and mace and boil in apple cider for a great mulled cider, or in plain water for an aromatic potpourri. Ground cloves can be used in baked goods, and are found in Chinese 5-spice blends.
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