Cloves are almost indispensable in Dutch cuisine, although they have not always been there. We work with it frequently and consider it to be good business. The question immediately arises as to whether this is correct. But what is clove actually, how can it be used, for what purpose and how healthy is it?
Clove is a spice that finds a basis in its dried form. They are the still closed flower heads of the clove tree, officially called Syzygium aromaticum. It concerns an approximately 1 centimeter long stem with the flower bud.
Cloves have a very strong, distinct taste and you have to love them. It owes its name to its shape, which resembles a nail or wire nail, and the fact that it is an herb. It had been known in Indonesia and China for centuries.
Where is it from?
In the Netherlands it became known when the Dutch ruled in the then Dutch East Indies. Modern-day Indonesia is the largest producer of cloves, but is also used extensively because of the production of cloves in its own cigarette production. Madagascar is also a major supplier, followed by Tanzania, Sri Lanka and Comoros.
If you don’t want to explicitly use cloves, you can still enjoy the tree. The clove bomb is a beautiful tree with dense green leaves and flowers that hang in beautiful bunches at the ends of the branches (it can reach a height of about 12 meters). If you want to apply it, you have to be patient. The clove tree is a slow grower, because it can easily take about six years before it can be harvested. The advantage is that the tree can grow very old and humans can survive.
Application in the kitchen
Cloves may be best known as a prominent ingredient in gingerbread. In the kitchen we also know it from the well-known stews with beef, the meat that must be cooked in peace and for which you must therefore take your time. The flavor of the beef becomes so much more intense if you let the cloves steep for a while. Only when serving can the cloves be discarded.
Cloves are also used on vegetables such as red cabbage and some cloves on game meat also work well. Cloves are less well known in wine, but they are also used as an ingredient there. Just think of our mulled wine or the German Glühwein.
How healthy is it?
Anesthetic and anti-inflammatory
Clove oil is sometimes used as an anesthetic, this has happened in the past when a clove was inserted into a painful tooth. Nowadays it is used slightly differently, but for example in root canal treatment it is still administered as an anesthetic.
Cloves are inflammatory and can reduce certain complaints. Complaints such as rheumatism, intestinal complaints, but also the age-old muscle pain. The substance eugenol is also contained in cloves and is a substance that pollutes the environment, and it also ensures that the body is rid of toxins.
For toothache it is good to chew on a clove three to four times a day. Moreover, it also helps freshen the breath.
You can put cloves in the form of oil on a sugar cube and place it on your tongue several times a day and take it. But you can also use it in massage oil.
Of course, cloves can also be processed in the form of cooking and making tea. In that case, drink a few cups a day.
Vitamins and minerals
You don’t need much to get certain vitamins and minerals. The cloves contain:
- Vitamins C
- Vitamins K
Clove can be used in the kitchen to make dishes tastier, it is certainly a healthy herb for the body (and easy to use). Moreover, it is also a beautiful tree. So enjoy it on several levels. my view on