Cloves Key facts Cloves are the aromatic, dried flower buds of a tree; their non-culinary uses include being made into cigarettes in Indonesia and burning incense; cloves can irritate the digestive tract, so should be avoided by people with gastric disorders.
Cloves are like little dark-wooden nails, and can be used almost as such pressed into onions (for bread sauce) or oranges (mulled wine) or studded over a piece of sugar-and-mustard-glazed gammon. They do have a very pungent aroma and flavour – people who were subjected to oil of cloves as a cure for toothache often can’t stand them, so strong was their impact – but, used subtly, cloves are one of my favourite spices and I still love them in apple pies and crumbles.
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