Cloves(Syzygium aromaticum, syn. Eugenia aromaticum) are the aromatic dried flower buds of a tree in the family Myrtaceae. It is native to India & Indonesia and used as a spice in virtually all the world's cuisine. The name derives from French clou, a nail, as the buds vaguely resemble small irregular nails in shape. Cloves are harvested primarily in Indonesia and Madagascar; it is also grown in Zanzibar, India, Sri Lanka, and the "Spice Islands" (Moluccas, Indonesia known as the Banda Islands). The clove tree is an evergreen which grows to a height ranging from 10-20 m, having large oval leaves and crimson flowers in numerous groups of terminal clusters. The flower buds are at first of a pale color and gradually become green, after which they develop into a bright red, when they are ready for collecting. Cloves are harvested when 1.5-2 cm long, and consist of a long calyx, terminating in four spreading sepals, and four unopened petals which form a small ball in the centre. Cloves can be used in cooking either whole or in a ground form, but as they are extremely strong they are used sparingly. Clove essential oil is used in aromatherapy and oil of cloves is widely used to treat toothache in dental The essential oil of cloves has anesthetic and antimicrobial qualities, and is sometimes used to eliminate bad breath or to ameliorate the pain of a bad tooth. It, or its main component eugenol, is used by dentists to calm the nerve inside a tooth after the removal of deep decay, and is the characteristic odor of a dentist's office. Clove oil is used in the traditional blend of choji (1% clove oil in mineral oil) and is applied to Japanese sword blades to prevent tarnishing of the polished surface.
Clove and Cider Glazed Ham
- 6 whole cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 7-8 lb spiral-cut ham
- 1 three-inch cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup fresh apple cider
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Place ham in 9x13 inch baking dish
- Combine all remaining ingredients in small saucepan.
- Bring to a simmer while whisking occasionally.
- Cook over low-med heat for approximately 25 minutes until reduced to 3/4 cup.
- Pour glaze over ham.
- Cover tightly with foil.
- Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, basting every 15 minutes until heated throughout.
- Transfer to platter.
- Strain juices from the ham into small saucepan.
- Boil and cook until reduced to glaze, approx 8-10 mins.
- Spoon glaze over ham and serve.
Clove and Molasses Butter
(Try on sweet potatoes, cinnamon toast, pancakes, or even pork chops.)
- 1/16 teaspoon ground clove. (Can use coffee grinder.)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black peppercorns.
- 1/4 teaspoon dark molasses
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) softened, unsalted butter.
- Place butter in medium bowl and use spatula to mash until spreadable.
- Add salt, pepper, clove and molasses to the butter.
- Stir until combined.
Clove Cinnamon Syrup
(Try drizzled over waffles or desserts, and in cocktails or other beverages.)
- 1 tablespoon whole or ground cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- Combine ingredients in small, uncovered saucepan.
- Bring to a boil while stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Cool and remove the cinnamon pieces and cloves. (Strain through cheesecloth if using clove powder.)
- Pour syrup into a glass container with a secure cover.
- Keep refrigerated. (Will stay fresh for weeks.)