The Spice of Clove
Clove as a dried spice is different in its potency properties than the essential oil of clove, but the aroma and flavor is easier to manage. Dried clove can be added to meats and vegetables to give them an enhancing zesty addition of spice and tradition. Throughout the world, clove spice is respected and widely used. Famous Chinese Five-Spice includes clove, but many dishes also incorporate whole dried cloves. Dishes like ham, chicken stock and beef marinades will incorporate cloves to produce a spicy and mildly sweet accent. Clove oil was also originally used in making vanilla substitute, but is now more frequently used on its own.
The numerous benefits to the mind, body and health are vast and sometimes exaggerated, but all will agree that clove is advantageous oil. The use of clove essential oil should be done cautiously, and the spice can be overwhelming if too generously applied, but simple moderation can give one access to the tremendous benefits of cloves. For interesting cooking ideas, consult the cuisines of India and Indonesia for suggestions and amounts of clove to use. Clove is a wonderful plant with amazing potential for enhancing the body while entertaining the palette. Enjoying clove in moderation is wise, but the distinct spicy aroma and relaxing properties of the clove plant and oil is something that can be enjoyed daily.