Sri Lankan Organic Whole Cloves
These beautiful hand-picked and -sorted cloves are as aromatic and flavorful as any we've seen traditionally grown.
Cloves are native to only a tiny handful of islands in the Moluccas, and are tricky and labor-intensive to grow. Just before the buds blossom, they turn pink, at which point they must be harvested immediately. One tree yields about a seven-pound harvest. Dried cloves break easily and must be handled gently to prevent breaking off the pale flower head.
In this country we use whole cloves primarily in studding hams and in mulling spices. In French cooking a crucial ingredient in many stocks is a whole onion studded with cloves. Cloves combine nicely with beef; try adding a clove or two to beef stew or beef gravy. Large and fragrant, these are the ideal cloves for making pomander balls. The cloves of Sri Lanka have a delightfully complex flavor, a little sweeter than cloves from the Spice Islands.
The high percentage of eugenol in cloves will produce a numbing effect if you put a whole clove in your mouth. In fact, before modern anesthetics, dentists often prescribed that their patients with toothaches pack cloves around the infected area to numb the pain.