Clove is good for biscuits, liqueurs, fruit cakes but some savory dishes while the essential oil can be used to paint porcelain
Clove is an aromatic spice obtained by drying selected flower buds of the evergreen tropical “carnation” tree that grows in the Philippines, the Moluccas, India and Brazil. It is harvested and dried just before flowering. It is dried on wicker rugs in the sun. The drying process is completed when the buds turn dark brown and when the water content is reduced to 12 to 16%. This separates the fertile stalks from which the oil can be distilled. The name is due to the specific shape of the 16 millimeter long stalk of the bud, which has a round thickening at the upper end. Clove has long been known as a spice. It was used in China 300 years before the new era. During the Han dynasty, courtiers chewed this spice in the presence of the emperor to have a pleasant breath. Europeans have been using this spice since the 4th century, when it became the main oriental spice. It was brought to the Balkans from Indonesia, which is today the largest exporter of cloves. The best spice of clove is from the Moluccas.
Clove has a typical and pleasant although sharp smell and almost spicy taste. These strong spicy properties are due to the very high content of essential oils (14 to 25%) which consists in large quantities of eugenol. This spice contains tannins, caryophyllene resins, waxes, fats and vanilla. The oil of this spice is used in medicine and dentistry (antiseptic and anesthetic) due to its high eugenol content. Used for perfuming soap. It can be used for painting porcelain, production of eugenol, isoeugenol and vanillin.
Clove in cooking
It is used primarily as a spice for sweet dishes. Mulled wine during the winter is unthinkable without this spice. It is used for flavoring biscuits (honey cake, fruit cakes, liqueur, punch, candied fruit). It is also a good spice for some savory dishes. It goes well with braised beef, roast pork and venison and can be added to some sausages, salamis, dark ragout soups, broths, marinades, oriental rice dishes and curry sauce. Gives a very fine taste to red sauerkraut in combination with laurel and onion.
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