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CLOVES Defined

CLOVES—Name of a valuable spice obtained from the buds of the tree. Used in its whole form for seasoning many stews, sauces, soups, especially turtle soup, where it takes the place of the herb BASIL.

It is a valuable addition to apple dumplings, pies and sauces; in its ground state is often adulterated with pimentos and other inferior spices. The word clove is also used to designate a clove or section of garlic.

Clove is the partially developed bud of a tree, which grows to a height of about 15 feet. These buds are produced in great profusion in clusters, which are gathered by natives and dried, turning from red to brown.

The unexpanded corella forms the head and the calix the stem of the clove. Once dried, this cluster of cloves is broken from the stem by pressing them against the palm of the hand. Women generally do this work.

Cloves arc exported in great quantity to the United States and other foreign countries, for the manufacturing of drugs and in the commercial form of oil of cloves and for the flavoring of chewing gum, etc.

Cloves (Syrup of).—Puts quarter of a pound of cloves and a quiirt of boiling water into a stewpan, cover it close, and boil them gentlv for half an hour; drain the cloves, and to a pint of the liquor pat two pounds of sugar; beat up two eggs in a little cold water, add them to the above, and simmer the whole till it becomes a strong syrup. When cold, bottle it.

Clove Water—Mix a little cinnamon with the cloves, or the scent will be too strong; allow half a score of cloves to a quart of water; put in a good piece of sugar; let them infuse some time over hot embers, or in a warm place; then strain it for use.

Ground Cloves

It follows that genuine ground cloves should closely approximate in volatile oil content, to from 14 to 18 percent. In addition to the volatile oil, cloves have a varying amount of fixed oil; reaching about 10 percent, in the best grades.

Grinders claim that the oily matter of cloves makes fine grinding of this spice difficult, and that the best results in retention of the volatile oil of cloves are obtained by mixing the cloves with pimento and grinding these spices together.

In fact, many of the 122 samples of so-called ground cloves now reported, were found to contain pimento in considerable amount.

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Vintage Culinary Terms - "C"