Clove is a fairly popular spice, actively used in cooking, confectionery and food production. The properties of cloves have found their application in folk and traditional medicine, as well as in cosmetology and perfumery.
The rich chemical composition has a fairly strong effect on the body, so there are some contraindications and restrictions on the use of this fragrant spice.
Where did the carnation come from and how
Carnation is an evergreen plant of the myrtle family. The height of the clove tree can reach 12 m. Initially they were grown to decorate the royal palaces - the pyramidal peaks look majestic and beautiful.
It was soon discovered that the inflorescences of a tropical tree contain a lot of oil and exude a spicy, pleasant aroma. Clove branches began to decorate the house, and add flowers to the bath. And only then learned how to dry the inflorescences and use them as a seasoning.
In fact, the spice familiar to us today is dried, unopened buds of cloves. There are rules and the time of their collection.
Tropical Molukksky islands are considered the homeland of carnations - from there the evergreen tree gradually spread to other countries.
Today, the most trees with pyramidal tops grow on Pemba Island - there are at least 4 million of them. The spicy scent literally hangs in the air, even water has this specific flavor.
Method of obtaining
Spice cloves are unblown clove blossoms. They begin to collect at the moment when the inflorescences have already gained strength, but have not yet blossomed - at this moment the buds contain the maximum amount of nutrients and have a valuable aroma.
Buds are harvested by hand using special scrapers. Inflorescences are removed only from trees older than 6 years. Drying does not require the use of furnaces or other equipment, the buds are simply dried in the sun, packed in bags and boxes, and sent to all corners of the world.
Smaller packaging is the one that can be seen on store shelves. It is carried out directly in the countries-dealers of raw materials.
Considering that each clove gives a very generous harvest, and the process of collecting and drying spices is not expensive, the fragrant dressing has an affordable price.
Interesting about the mysterious spice
The quality of the spices can be checked at home. It does not require complex chemical reagents or special devices - it is enough to know some of the properties of dried clove blossoms.
Pour ordinary clean water into a glass or a cup of clear glass and throw a couple of dry buds into it. A quality spice containing enough oil will sink to the bottom or float vertically - with the cap up.
Dry inflorescences should be fragile and brittle - elasticity is a sign of poor-quality drying or preservative treatment. If you hold a dry bud on clean white paper, a quality sample will leave a distinct oil color.
Provided proper storage - dry sealed containers - spice can be stored for several years. Buy whole buds - powder spice has a very limited shelf life.
The benefits of clove spice are in its healing properties. In many ways, this action of eugenol is the main component of clove oil.
Eugenol helps to eliminate spasms, restores the normal functioning of the urinary system, helps to get rid of diarrhea and increased gas formation, fights against viruses and bacteria, accelerates wound healing.
In the food industry and cooking, clove is used as an aromatic spice. It is added to meat, marinades, sauces, soups, canned food, beverages and even confectionery.
Spicy and spicy aroma pronounced, so you should strictly follow the recipe and do not exceed the recommended dosage.
More information about the composition
There are legends about the healing properties of cloves. Spice is part of many dietary supplements, is considered the official therapeutic agent in Great Britain. The benefits of cloves are due to its chemical composition.
Nutritional value is 332 kcal per 100 g. Including 6 g of proteins, 20.1 g of fats and 27 g of carbohydrates.
Each unopened bud contains:
- essential oils;
- vitamins - A, B, C, PP;
- alimentary fiber;
Application in the food industry
Cloves as a spice are actively used in the production of liqueurs and canned goods. Spicy and burning aroma is well felt in both cold and hot dishes. With prolonged heat treatment, the taste and smell become less pronounced. It is the cap that gives the finished dish a rich aroma, and the cutting itself - a pleasant ostryku.
Clove is a must-have component of many fragrant blends. For example, curry, garam masala and others. Such spices are excellent for meat and fish dishes, vegetable stews, sauces, cereals. Canned fish, meat and vegetables, too, often contain dried clove blossoms.
Despite some sharpness, cloves are often used in the production of confectionery dishes - puddings, creams, jellies, and sweets. This spice goes well with cinnamon.
In the manufacture of liqueurs and other beverages containing alcohol, it should be borne in mind that under the influence of ethyl alcohol the taste and aroma of spices increase.
Impact on the human body
The benefits and harms of cloves today have been sufficiently studied. First, consider all the healing properties of spices. The active use of spices in cosmetology, pharmacology and medicine is due to its balanced mineral composition.
Potassium has a positive effect on brain function, increases efficiency and improves memory. Regular inclusion in the diet with the addition of cloves has a positive effect on the state of the vascular walls and is an effective prevention of heart attack and stroke.
Also present in the composition in impressive doses is magnesium, which increases the body's resistance to stress and contributes to the normalization of the functions of all vital organs and systems. Additionally, magnesium is involved in the absorption of calcium, which helps strengthen bones.
Spicy and slightly burning flavor increases appetite, stimulates the production of a sufficient amount of gastric juice. Fans of this spice are much less likely to suffer from colitis, constipation and other disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.
The antiseptic action of cloves helps to fight many problems and ailments of the oral cavity - caries, periodontal disease, stomatitis, unpleasant smell. Today, research is being conducted on the ability of spices to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Already there is evidence that seasoning helps cleanse the body of free radicals, which are the cause of malignant tumors.
But there are contraindications for this healing spice. Pregnant women should completely abandon cloves or reduce consumption to a minimum - it stimulates the contraction of the uterine wall, which can cause miscarriage or the development of fetal abnormalities.
Restrictions on the use of cloves require some diseases of the digestive system - gastritis, ulcers, and more. Doctors do not recommend eating dishes with cloves for children under 3 years of age.