Cloves are originally only native to a tiny group of islands near Indonesia, though they are now grown around the world. During the peak of the Age of Exploration, various European nations battled each other over control for these Spice Islands, which were the only place in the world one could find precious cloves and nutmeg. We grind cloves in small batches every week, for an incredibly strong flavor. The essential oil, eugenol, is responsible for the bitter, numbing flavor in cloves. Our high-oil ground cloves are so strong, we highly recommend storing them in glass or ceramic containers.