Cloves (Syzygium aromaticum
Plant family: Myrtaceae (myrtle family)
Origin: The clove tree is endemic in the North Moluccas ( Indonesia
) and was of old cultivated on the islands of Ternate, Tidore, Bacan
and the West coast of Halmahera . The Dutch extended cultivation to
several other islands in the Moluccas, but only after the end of the
Dutch monopoly (18 th century), clove trees were introduced to other
The most important production area today is the island of Pemba near
Zanzibar in Tanzania. The whole island of Pemba is covered with
clove gardens, and it is reported that the island can be smelled on
any ship approaching it.
Used plant part: Dried flower buds. Essential oil is also produced
from the leaves (the leaves are certainly aromatic enough to make
them potentially interesting). The ripe fruits (mother of clove)
have only local use.
Sensoric quality: Cloves are strongly aromatic and very intensive
fragrance; fiery and burning taste.
They have deep brown colour, a powerfully fragrant odour which is
warm, pungent, strongly sweet and slightly astringent and a taste
too hot and acrid to be pleasant.
Cloves Use : Arab traders brought cloves to Europe in the time of
the Romans. At that time cloves were still very expensive.
Indonesians are the main consumers of cloves and use up nearly 50%
of the world's production. But, not for cooking but for smoking.
Cigarettes flavoured with cloves kretek) are extremely popular and
nearly every (male) Indonesian enjoys them. Their sweet,
incense-like aroma pervades Indonesian restaurants, buses, markets