Cloves are a must-have in your spice collection. They are the dried buds of a tree that originally only grew on a few islands in eastern Indonesia. Cloves are very aromatic and impart a slightly sweet but tangy earthy flavour. Note though that a few go a long way.
Although originally growing on a few islands, cloves have been traded up to China and then across the continent to England for millennia. They permeate many cuisines and cultural health remedies. Their name stems from the Latin word for nail and I think that is very apt.
Cloves pair well with many types of meat, herbs, spices and vegetables. Notably pork, beef, onion, citrus and pepper.
The evergreen tree cloves come from:
In India they are essential for making Garam Masala:
Here are more herbs, spices and ingredients posts.