Spicy World Cloves
Cloves are the immature unopened flower buds of a tropical tree. The large end of the clove is the four-pointed flower bud. Bouquet: warm, pungent and aromatic flavor, sweetly pungent, astringent and strongly aromatic. Culinary uses: cloves can easily overpower a dish, particularly when ground, so only a few need be used. Whole cloves are often used to stud hams and pork, pushing the tapered end into the meat like a nail. A studded onion is frequently used to impart an elusive character to courts-bouillons, stocks and soups. Cloves are often used to enhance the flavor of game, especially venison, wild boar and hare. They are used in a number of spice mixtures including ras el hanout, curry powders, mulling spices and pickling spices. Cloves also figure in the flavor of Worcestershire sauce. They enjoy much popularity in north Africa and the middle east where they are generally used for meat dishes, though rice is often aromatized with a few cloves.