What is Cloves ?
Cloves are one of the important spice in the cooking and baking world which has significant role in flavoring the dishes and also has various health benefits.
It has a strong flavor, hot and pungent taste and used to flavor many dishes in culinary and bakery products and also used raw form in terms of health cooking.
Cloves are grown in India and Madagascar, but Indonesia is most closely associated with the production of cloves.
Indeed, so lucrative was the clove trade originating in an island chain once known as the Spice Islands (now part of Indonesia), that in 1667, following the Second Anglo-Dutch War, the British ceded the islands to the Dutch in exchange for a faraway settlement then known as New Amsterdam. Thus did the Dutch swap Manhattan for cloves.
- Effective in treating gum disease
- Aids digestion
- Contains anti-cancer & anti-mutagenic properties
- Boosts immune system
- Reduces inflammation
- Effective in treating pain
- Provides relief from headaches
- Helps to control blood sugar levels
- Protects against liver infections
- Aids in the preservation of bone density
- Effective against bacterial infection
Storage of cloves
Cloves should be stored in a airtight container and should be stored in dry place. Whole cloves can be stored up to a year without losing its potency or pungent flavor whereas ground or crushed cloves are most likely to be oxidized and has less shelf life of 3 months.
Varieties and characteristics
There are no specific varieties of cloves been cultivated through our India. Although India has huge production on cloves Indonesia claims its first place with it’s clove production.
There are three common varieties described are based on prominent appearance and taste.
Amboyan : These are the varieties with huge size, piquant and more fragrant cloves. These cloves are not much of a versatile cloves used through cooking, cosmetics, heath etc.
Penang : This is the most common cloves used widely through out world wide and they look like slightly red colored tone and has a pungent flavor which makes it unique in culinary uses.
Zanzibar : These cloves are more modest and more slender when contrasted with the Penang cloves and has a dark earthy colored tone. This excellent clove functions as a delightful zest in flavorful and sautéed dishes.