Wednesday, 29 January 2014


History of Clove


The aromatic spice , clove , is derived from the Latin word clavus which means nail as they have a hard exterior but their flesh contains oily compound which imparts the 
clove its nutritive value and flavour. Cloves are available all round he year like most other spices. 

Cloves are unopened pink flower buds of an evergreen clove tree. The buds are handpicked when they are pink and dried till they are brown in colour.

Cloves are native to the Moluccas, formerly known as the Spice Islands of Indonesia. They have been consumed in Asia for more than 2,000 years. Owing to their sweet and fragrant taste, they are kept in the  mouths in order to freshen the breath .  They were cultivated  exclusively in Indonesia, but today the leading clove-producing region is Zanzibar in Eastern Africa. In addition to these two regions, cloves are also grown commercially in the West Indies, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, India, Pemba and Brazil.

Culinary uses of Clove

Cloves are used in the kitchen to enhance the flavour of food. In Indian rices dishes like palao and biryani clove is a necessary ingredient.

Clove is also added to boiling tea.

Other Uses

Clove is also used in cigarettes known as cigars when sold in the US.

Clove oil is used in some toothpastes to alleviate tooth pain. Clove oil is also used in temporary dental fillings.

Clove oil is used in aromatherapy when stimulation and warming are needed for easing digestive problems.

Cloves are widely used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine and Chinese medicine.


Whenever possible, buy whole cloves instead of clove powder since the latter loses its flavor more quickly. 

Test of Clove 

When squeezed with a fingernail, good quality  cloves will release some of their oil. Alternatively, you can place a clove in a cup of water. Those of good quality will float vertically while those that are stale will either sink or float horizontally.
Cloves should be kept in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place. Ground cloves will keep for about six months, while whole cloves will stay fresh for about one year stored this way. Cloves can be refrigerated to extend their shelf-life.

Readers , does  this versatile spice form a part of your daily life?


                                  For :  ABC Wednesday