Cloves are one of the oldest spices in the world, dating back to 1721 BC in Syria. They were traded by Muslim sailors and merchants during the Middle Ages and even the famous Sinbad the Sailor of Arabian Nights was known to have bought and sold cloves from India.
Cloves are an aromatic flower bud of a tree in the Mytaceae family called Syzgium Aromaticum. They are native to Indonesia and are most commonly used as a spice. They are available throughout the year and harvested mostly in Madagascar, Bangladesh, Tanzania, India and other areas with similar climate.
Currently, the oldest clove tree in the world (named Afo) is found on the island of Ternate and is nearly 400 years old.
Coves are used to flavor meats, curries, marinades and even fruit. It is sometimes used for its aromatic and flavor qualities in hot beverages. It is also a favorite additive to pumpkin pie spice.
Clove can even be placed on open lemon and lime and serve as an insect repellant.