Cloves

Ingredients

  • Organic + Fair Trade Cloves

Origin​

  • Sri Lanka

Form

  • Whole

Certification

  • Organic, Kosher

Typical Use

  • Fall, Winter

Background

  • Cloves are one of the most valuable spices that have been used for centuries as food preservative and for many medicinal purposes. Cloves are native of Indonesia, where they were one of the valuable spices whose trade was guarded by the colonial trading companies, especially the Dutch Trading Company. That monopolistic control was broken by French traders who smuggled cloves to other Indian ocean islands especially Zanzibar and Pemba. Nowadays, cloves are farmed in several parts of the world, including Brazil. Cloves represent one of the richest sources of phenolic compounds such as eugenol, eugenol acetate and gallic acid and possess great potential for pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food, and agricultural applications. 
     

Cloves are now widely used for food across Asia, Africa, Middle East, and Europe. The clove has even been adopted in Mexico and South America as a spice that can be used for sweet dishes. In the other regions, cloves are used for sweet and savory dishes.
We offer not just organic.

Cooking

  • Similar to Bay Laurel, cloves are typically only used during cooking and taken out prior serving. That is based on their very strong flavor which would become overbearing if one bites into a clove. They add fragrance to lots of different types of dishes. One of my favorite dishes where cloves add a nice warm note is German "rotkohl" or in Bavaria "blaukraut" which is red cabbage, curt small and cooked with fat (plus salt, sugar, apple, onion, and a touch of vinegar to maintain the color). It is one of the great side dishes.

Cultural​

  • Clove trees initially grew only in parts of Indonesia (also on the spice islands) where they came under the control of the Dutch Trading Company. The Dutch tried to eradicate clove trees from several islands to increase scarcity and to support high prices. Similarly to nutmeg, the colonial approach of the European trading company was not exactly benevolent. Read more about the brutal management in the cultural description of nutmeg. Unfortunate but true.

​Spiritual

  • While there were 128 plants mentioned in the Bible, cloves were not one of them. That is probably due to them not being available in the Mediterranean room until the Middle Ages (since until then, they only grew in the Spice Islands). Prior to the takeover of trading by Western European trading companies, cloves were part of the wealth generated by the SE Asian trade by the Champas (mid first Millenium). During that time, cloves may have been used for anesthetic purposes after childbirth.

Medicinal​

  • Cloves have been used as topical anesthesia in dentistry. While it may be irritating to mucosal tissues, it has antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antispasmodic properties.

Recipes

Jerk chicken - https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1014722-no-fuss-jerk-chicken?action=click&module=Local%20Search%20Recipe%20Card&pgType=search&rank=1

Glazed ham - https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/clove-and-cider-glazed-ham

 

Shop​

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Copyright © 2019 Five Continent Spices

Santa Cruz, CA, United States

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(408) 714-0009