Cloves Article -
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This strong spice flavors hams, roasts, hot drinks and pies--it's a holiday must-have.

How to Cook with Cloves

Whole cloves are used to add extra flavor to savory dishes that cook for a long time like roasts, ham, and rice. They will still be woody after cooking, so remove the whole cloves before serving.

Ground cloves are often used in pies, usually paired with fall spices like cinnamon. You can buy ground cloves at any grocery store. You can also grind down whole cloves yourself using a mortar and pestle.  

See how cloves add flavor to Mom's Pumpkin Pie >>

    Where to Find Cloves

    You could go to Madagascar, where clove trees cover thousands of acres of the islands. But the easier trip is to any supermarket, where they will usually stock both whole and ground cloves.

    How to Store Cloves

    Whether whole or ground, keep cloves in a cool, dry place with a tight-fitting lid. Whole cloves will keep for as long as four years, ground cloves should be replaced at least every other year. If you have cloves sitting around, give them a sniff. They should have a pungent odor. If not, restock your supply next time you go to the store.

    Fresh cloves add fall flavor to Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread >>


      Bright, uniform, reddish-brown

      Flavor & Aroma

      Pungent and aromatic

      Sensory Profile

      The flavor of cloves is strong, pungent, sweet--almost hot.

      See how cloves are used to make Honey-Glazed Ham >> 

      ground cloves, spice

        Worth Their Weight in Gold

        People have been cooking with cloves for at least 4,000 years. For most of that time, they only grew in one place--the Maluku or "Spice" Islands. In Britain, more than 8,000 miles away, an ounce of cloves cost more than an ounce of gold!

        Thankfully for holiday bakers, the price has come way down. Many holiday treats just don't have the same flavor without cloves!

        See how to make Gingerbread Cookies >>

        cloves, botanical drawing
          Dec. 25, 2009 10:36 am
          I learned this from an old friend ~ in a small potpourri crock pot or just a pan on the stove ~ sliced apple, slide orange, some whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, some nutmeg, some powdered cinnamon or whatever else you want to add, add enough water to simmer on low all day long ~ the house smells like Christmas! ~
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