Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cloves: Ground by a Mortar and Pestle

My mother taught me how to use cloves whole. We used to insert whole cloves into apples or quinces to add flavour while baking them to make desserts or stewing them, but only after I turned 30 I started to grind cloves into powder, using a mortar and pestle.

Elizabeth Blackwell, “The Clove, Carophyllus aromaticus.” Plate 338 from volume 2 of Blackwell’s A Curious Herbal, Containing Five Hundred Cuts, of the Most Useful Plants, Which Are Now Used in the Practice of Physic: . . . To Which Is Added a Short Description of Ye Plants; and Their Common Uses in Physic (London, 1739). [Rare Books Division]

Cloves have such a strong sweet but spicy and peppery flavour that so I've already learned to use them in moderation to avoid over seasoning. It's best to grind them just before you use them so that you will ensure flavour and freshness are at their peak. 

Well, here is Clove Gum which is flavored with clove spice and has a very distinctive taste. It has a unique flavor, they say. It has  been on the market since 1914.  Today,  Clove gum is only manufactured every three years or so and is produced in large batches.  Since it is only produced ever so often, it can be very difficult to find. Clove Gum can be purchased on Retro Planet.

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