Food Encyclopedia

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1. Considered one of the world's most important spices, cloves are the dried, unopened flower bud of the tropical evergreen clove tree. Reddish brown and nail-shaped, their name comes from clavus, the Latin word for nail. Cloves are sold whole or ground and can be used to flavor a multitude of dishes ranging from sweet to savory. 2. The term clove also refers to a segment of a bulb, such as in garlic clove.