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Clove (Syzygium Aromaticum)
The dried bud of a tropical tree belonging to the myrtle family. When dried, used as a pungent nail-shaped spice.
An essential ingredient of Five Spice Powder, and found in most curry powders. Cloves have been thought to have aphrodisiac quality at various stages of history; and while this is debatable, they are certainly a powerful antiseptic, being made into "oil of cloves" - used in medicine.
They gained their name from the Latin word for nail - 'clavus'. The spice is available as whole cloves or in ground form - the grounds are made without the clove heads and are milder in flavour. If cooking with whole cloves ensure that they are removed before serving. This can be achieved by sticking them into a carrot or onion for easy removal.
They were once considered to be an aphrodisiac.