Cloves - Syzygium aromaticum: Botanic
Cloves, Syzygium aromaticum, are the dried flower buds of the clove. In India, China, and the Orient, it is a spice much-used. We use it rather sparingly, which is a pity as it is a very aromatic spice. The carnation tree belongs to the plant species Myrtaceae. It grows up to 20 m high can reach the age of 100 years and carries evergreen leathery leaves. The carnation tree blooms twice a year, and its flowers are red-white. Their aromatic fragrant flower buds are the spice.
The carnation tree has its origin in the Moluccas, which is an Indonesian island group.
The harvest is carried out twice a year, by hand, before the buds discolor. The freshly picked carnations are red and turn brown during drying under the sun and lose 3/4 of your weight.
How do Cloves taste?
Cloves taste fruity, bitter, peppery, and fiery. They leave a deaf feeling in the mouth due to their containing eugenol and are a home remedy for toothaches. Chewing on a carnation anesthetizes the aching tooth and is also supposed to alleviate inflammation in the pharynx area. They smell very intensely, with notes of camphor and pepper.
Culinary use of Syzygium aromaticum
Please use Cloves sparingly due to their intense aroma, otherwise, they quickly drown out other spices. Indian and Chinese cuisine flavor lots of dishes with cloves, equally sweet and savory foods. They season meat, fish, gingerbread, sauces, marinades, pastries, rice, broths, drinks, such as mulled wine, and beetroots.
Many well-known spice mixtures such as curry powder, Chinese five-spice powder, garam masala, or our Tiroler wine spice use cloves as an ingredient.
They refine poultry, meat, fish, and game during cooking in the liquid. Especially well fit for apples (sauces, puddings or cakes).
Cloves do not match with intense herbs, but to the following spices: cardamom, allspice, cinnamon, chili, fennel, ginger, coriander seed, laurel, mace, nutmeg.