The clove spice is a very pungent spice found in many savory dishes, drinks, and desserts. You can get them either ground or whole, and they can flavor sauces, meats, rice dishes, and so much more. They are most commonly used in sweet dishes alongside other spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg, for example, the classic pumpkin pie.
Cloves are a spice that comes from the flower buds of the clove tree, and they are harvested during an immature stage then dried carefully. They are small and are usually a reddish brown color with a bulbous top, and you can smell them from very far away – they have a very sweet, strong, and pungent aroma.
Cloves are generally grown in India and Madagascar, however, Indonesia takes the reign when it comes to producing the most cloves. Known centuries ago as the Spice Islands, cloves were regularly bartered and traded across the world.
So, what exactly do they taste like? Cloves have a very intense flavor and aroma, and it only takes a few of them to make a dish contain the flavor, so don’t use to many of them or too much of the ground spice. Though nobody really eats them plain, if you did, there would be a warm, strong, and even bitter taste that will fill your entire mouth – completely overwhelming.
However, when it comes to baking and cooking, cloves are easily added in to recipes to create a nutty and sweet flavor that has a beautiful aroma. Cloves are extremely popular in desserts, but they are even more common in traditional Indian dishes – it’s one of the main components within garam masala. Cloves are usually not eaten whole, even after the dish is cooked. They are usually picked out because the texture is very hard and woody. You can opt for ground cloves to add to dishes if you don’t feel like picking whole cloves out of your meal. Cloves are a great addition to many desserts and beverages, and they pack a whole lot of flavor for such a tiny spice!