It’s Saturday, you have a nagging toothache, and your dentist’s office is closed. According to your ancient ancestors, one of the most effective remedies for a tooth ache can be found in your spice cabinet – the clove! The essential oil eugenol found in clove buds acts as a local anesthetic and antiseptic giving temporary relief for dental pain.
Eugenol also gives the clove its sweet, aromatic fragrance and flavor. Recognizing these qualities, the Han Dynasty in Chine (207 BC -220 AD) required its officers of the court to hold cloves in their mouths as a breath freshener while addressing the emperor. The sweet scent also has been a staple ingredient in perfumes across the centuries.
One of the most popular spices in existence, cloves originated thousands of years ago on the Spice Islands (Moluccas) of Indonesia. As the value of the clove among Europeans grew, Portuguese explorers – followed by the Dutch- traveled to the islands to gain control of the trade. Cloves and nutmeg were so precious that they were worth more than their weight in gold. However, by the 1700s clove trees (Syzgium aromaticum) had spread to other areas of the world and became less attractive to spice trade moguls.
Today, clove trees are grown in Zanzibar, Madagascar, Mauritius, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Brazil, and Tanzania. The clove bud, in crushed or whole form, provides a sweet flavor to meats, Indian curries and rice dishes, pickled items, sauces and European spice cakes. At A.C. Legg Inc., cloves add to the unique flavor our Fresh Chorizo, Blend 111. This ethnic sausage seasoning is used to produce a chorizo with full flavor, but not too much heat. You can find it and all our other delicious blends on our Distributor Page.