Cloves are a type of spice that come from the dried flower buds of the evergreen tree, Syzygium aromaticum. They are native to Indonesia but are now widely cultivated in other parts of the world, including India, Madagascar, and Sri Lanka. Cloves have a distinctive sweet, warm, and aromatic flavor and are commonly used in cooking and as a natural remedy for various health issues.
Here are some common ways to use cloves in cooking:
- Spices blends: Cloves are commonly used as an ingredient in spice blends such as garam masala, pumpkin pie spice, and Chinese five-spice powder.
- Baked goods: Cloves are often used in baked goods such as gingerbread, fruitcakes, and spiced breads.
- Meat dishes: Cloves are a popular seasoning for meats such as ham and beef. They can be used to create a rub for the meat or added to the cooking liquid.
- Pickling: Cloves can be added to pickling brine to add flavor and aroma to pickled vegetables.
- Beverages: Cloves are used in the preparation of several beverages such as chai tea, mulled wine, and spiced cider.