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Cloves (Syzygium aromaticum)




Cloves are the dried, unopened flower buds of a small evergreen tree. They have a strong sweet, pungent flavour.

Did you know?

The name Clove is derived from the French word clou meaning nail, which is the shape that the bud and stem resemble. In Indonesia half of the Clove production is mixed with tobacco to produce Kretek cigarettes. Their use as a preservative in pickles and spiced dishes is well documented. At the time of the early Chinese civilisation commoners chewed Cloves to sweeten their breath before talking to the emperor.


Cloves should be large, plump and oily with a warm, reddish brown colour. The majority of the flower buds should be intact. Eugenol is the principal flavour-giving volatile oil.


  • Add a sweet, spicy flavour to gammon joints. Before cooking, score the flesh and stud with cloves.
  • Add to pilau rice and bread sauce.
  • Add Whole Cloves to mulled wine with Cinnamon Sticks and Coriander Seeds.
  • Stud an onion with two or three Cloves and add to steak & kidney pie and beef