Last updated: 16/10/2022

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Clove spice is the secret superstar among spices. Everyone knows it, but only a few actually know how versatile it really is. In combination with oranges, it is the Christmas scent par excellence. Cloves are an excellent spice for refining dishes. The spicy-hot sweetness of the spice is unmistakable.

Cloves have been valued since ancient times for their disinfecting and pain-relieving effect. They help especially with toothache, digestive problems and parasites. In the following, we would like to give you a little insight into the world of cloves. We also give you recommendations on how to find the right product for you.




Summary

  • Cloves are versatile in baking and cooking and go perfectly with sweet pastries or meat dishes.
  • The buds are rich in eugenol, which has an anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect.
  • They can be purchased in the form of dried buds or already ground into powder.

The best Cloves: Our Picks

To help you with your purchase decision, we have summarised the best products for you. These can also be easily ordered online.

Buying and evaluation criteria for cloves

To ensure that you find the right carnations for you, we will briefly present what you should consider when buying carnations. The most important criteria are briefly summarised in the criteria listed. These are:

Of course, everyone has their own preferences, but you should also consider the explanations of the criteria. This way you can be sure that you really find the product you want.

Flavour

Cloves are a highly aromatic spice that exudes an intense fragrance and has a spicy-hot aroma with a slightly sweet note. The taste can vary depending on the degree of processing and the brand.

Its taste is characterised by a slightly burning pungency. Due to the strong flavour intensity of clove, even a small pinch is enough to give a dish its unmistakable note.

Ingredients

The aromatic characteristics of cloves are due to essential oils containing eugenol. Whole cloves in particular are very rich in this substance.

Cloves should not contain any glutamates, preservatives or other additives. To avoid pesticides, impurities and genetic engineering, cloves should be bought from organic cultivation.

Shelf life

Whole cloves can be kept for up to five years if stored in a dry, cool and air-protected place. Clove powder, on the other hand, must also be stored away from light. Clove powder loses its flavour more quickly than whole cloves.

It is therefore advisable to buy whole cloves if they are to be stored for a long time. These can then be ground into powder in a mortar before preparation.

Processing form

A distinction is made between whole cloves and clove powder. Whole cloves are the dried flower buds of the clove tree. These not only have a longer shelf life but are also more suitable for medicinal use. Clove powder, on the other hand, is more suitable for culinary preparation.

Both forms of processing are available in almost every supermarket.

Packaging

In keeping with the organic quality of the product, the packaging should also be made of environmentally friendly material. Packaging made of renewable raw materials that can be composted is recommended. Appropriate protection preserves the taste and freshness of the cloves for longer.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about cloves answered in detail

In the following section, we give you a brief overview of the most frequently asked questions about cloves. With this knowledge, you will become a kitchen professional on the subject of cloves.

Where do cloves come from and what are their properties?

Cloves originate from the Moluccas archipelago in Indonesia. Even then, cloves were a sought-after spice. At times it was more expensive than gold. Today, cloves are grown all over the world along the equator. However, the best quality still comes from Southeast Asia.

Cloves are still a valuable spice today and can be found on all spice markets in Asia. (Image source: Zichrini / Pixabay)

Cloves are ideal for both sweet and savoury dishes. Especially during the Christmas season, it is used together with cinnamon and ginger in baked goods to create the typical taste of winter. Cloves can also be used as a medicine. The healing clove tea is particularly recommended.

How do cloves relieve pain?

The essential oils in cloves have both an anti-inflammatory and disinfectant effect against viruses and bacteria. The healing power of cloves also helps against intestinal parasites or digestive problems. It is recommended to take a small dose of cloves daily for such ailments.

For toothache or inflammation in the mouth, it is advisable to chew a whole clove close to the painful area. The oils released in this way have both an analgesic and anaesthetic effect.

Who are cloves not suitable for?

Cloves offer many health benefits, yet they should be enjoyed in moderation. Pregnant women in particular are advised not to consume more cloves. Cloves often have a stimulating effect on labour.

Conclusion

Cloves are the true jack-of-all-trades among spices. Hardly any other spice is as distinctive in its taste nuances and aroma as cloves. But its versatility in cooking and medicine also gives it a place of honour among spices.

Cloves alleviate numerous ailments and diseases and help the body to stay fit. Furthermore, clove oil can be extracted from whole cloves. In order not to weaken the healing power of cloves, we recommend organic products. This is the only way to ensure that the product contains what it promises.

(Cover photo: Anna Togni / Pixabay)

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