Why You’ll Love It
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Amount Per Serving
- Certified Organic
- Certified Kosher
- Ethically Sourced
- Sustainably farmed
- Cholesterol Free
- Dye and Color Additive Free
- Low Fat
- Low Sodium
- No Added Sugar or Sweeteners
- No Artificial Ingredients
- No Trans Fats
- Pesticide Free
- Preservative Free
- Salt Free
- Soy Free
Why You’ll Love Organic Ground Cloves
Cloves are dried flower buds from the tropical evergreen clove tree (Syzygium aromaticum), and are a staple of spice cabinets almost everywhere. They originate from Indonesia’s Maluku Islands and grow in various other tropical locations around the world. With their sweet, distinctive aroma and subtly kicky flavor, cloves have long been used in the United States for spice rubs on meat, to add warm notes to pumpkin pies, and to amp up the taste of pickled fruits, syrups, and sauces.
Cloves are commonly used both in whole bud and ground form. Thrive Market’s ground cloves—which are USDA Certified Organic, OU Kosher Certified, and non-GMO—come from clove tree buds that are plump, oily, and dark-brown, which are indicators that they’re of the highest quality.
Cloves in history
Towering, aromatic clove trees grow in warm, humid climates such as Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Brazil, and Tanzania. They have also been put to a variety of uses in Asia for millennia: In one of the earliest instances of their use on record, cloves were employed in China’s Han dynasty (206 B.C. to A.D. 220) to sweeten one’s breath.
Middle Eastern traders introduced cloves into Europe in the fourth century along with other spices such as nutmeg and ginger, which demanded high prices and were considered luxury items. The traders brought these exotic products from their own sources (or from Chinese and Japanese merchants), transported them to Alexandria in Egypt, and then shipped them to Europe where the elite paid handsomely. At this time, around much of Europe, spices were so precious that they were often used as currency, and at certain points some spices were worth more than their weight in gold.
Arabs of the Middle East kept control of the spice trade until 1498, when the Portuguese Vasco da Gama’s voyage around Africa to India gave Portugal a new, more efficient route to the source of an array of precious spices. In the early 1500s, the Portuguese began conquering Indonesia’s Maluku Islands and other surrounding “spice islands,” which were the source for pepper, nutmeg, mace, and cloves.
The Portuguese maintained control of the clove trade for the next 100 years, finally losing control of it to the Dutch in the early 17th century. The Dutch discovered a direct ocean pathway from the Cape of Good Hope to Indonesia's Sunda Strait, which made trading spices both safer and more efficient. With spice routes firmly established and more and more spices grown for trade, prices dropped and once-luxurious items became widely available around Europe for the first time. With easier access and more frequent use, cloves became popular not just for cooking, but also as a scent for perfumes and as a treatment for indigestion, nausea, cough, and toothaches.
Cloves around the world
In the U.S., cloves are most commonly used in meat dishes, sauces, and baked goods, as well as in holiday spice blends. Clove is an essential ingredient in ketchup and Worcestershire sauce, and in most pumpkin pie and spice cake recipes.
Cloves are commonly included in the spice mixes of Indonesian cuisine, and are especially important in Sri Lankan and North Indian food. They are incorporated into curries, garam masala, and rice dishes like biryani.
Cloves have also been used in Chinese cooking for centuries. As part the cuisine’s characteristic five-spice powder, they are used to flavor meat, poultry, seafood, fish, and even vegetable stew. Additionally, cloves can commonly be found in Chinese barbecue sauce, hoisin sauce, and fermented fish sauce.
Cloves for health
Cloves have been used for their medicinal properties since at least 300 B.C. The buds contain the essential oil eugenol, which is a local anesthetic that has been employed over the centuries to treat pain and clean wounds. For this reason, cloves were a common feature of pre-modern dentistry.
Today it is rarely used for medical purposes outside of alternative therapies, however, it still has other prominent non-culinary uses. Cloves may also be useful as a natural insect repellant, and when stuck into an orange it makes a fragrance known as “pomander”— a popular handmade gift in Victorian England.
Cooking with cloves
Ground cloves provide a sweet, spicy flavor to a range of baked goods, such as gingerbread, pumpkin pie, spice cake, and apple-spice muffins. Many cooks find the spicy, one-of-a-kind flavor of cloves a welcome addition to applesauce, chili, and barbecue sauce. Another creative way to use ground cloves? Add a dash to maple syrup, and drizzle over mashed sweet potatoes or pancakes. Here are a few can’t-miss recipes that put cloves front and center:
- Our 5-ingredient DIY pumpkin spice blend provides the perfect flavor profile for a Thanksgiving-friendly pie or a tasty latte.
- The ultimate Thanksgiving pie brings together coconut sugar and maple syrup—and, of course, cloves—for a sweet autumn treat.
- These iced gingerbread men look as good as they taste (assuming you can catch them).
- Waking up on a winter morning to apple pie overnight oats is both comforting and festive, and the dish is hearty enough to hold you over until lunch.
- When you go to plan your next holiday meal, you’ll want to have this recipe for maple pumpkin pie with pecan-walnut crust on hand.
More about Thrive Market products
At Thrive Market, our mission is to bring you the highest quality organic goods at truly affordable prices. That's why we've gone directly to the source to develop our own line of premium products made from the very best all-natural ingredients at a fraction of the usual price.
Finally, you don't need to choose between cost and quality, taste and health, value and your values. If it has the Thrive Market seal, you can trust that you're getting the highest quality product possible at the best price possible. Shop our premium, organic, and fair-trade certified virgin coconut oil, spices, nuts and dried fruit, tomato sauces, ghee, and sprouted grains today!