The well-known ingredient in many countries..

cloves_sketchCloves have historically been used in Indian and Indonesian cuisine. And in Indonesia the main non culinary uses are as ingredient in Kretek cigarettes. These Cloves Cigarettes are popular and have been smoked across all social economic classes in the Indonesian society. Recently the acquisition by Philip Morris, of one of the leading Indonesian Kretek Manufacturer, HM Sampoerna, was finalized. And thus this traditional 'Kretek' brand, widely popular in Indonesia, which started as a small home industry in the early 20th century, has become part of a global trade owned by a foreign multinational.

In North Indian cuisine, it is used in almost all rich or spicy dishes as an ingredient of a mix named garam masala, along with other spices. Although it is not an everyday ingredient for home cuisine, nor is it used in summer very often. In Ayurvedic medicine it is considered to have the effect of increasing heat in human biological system. In south Indian cuisine, it is used extensively in biryani along with "cloves dish" (similar to pilaf, but with the addition of other spices), and it is normally added whole to enhance the presentation and flavor of the rice.

Dried cloves are also a key ingredient in Indian masala chai, spiced tea, a special variation of tea popular in some regions, notably Gujarat. In the US, it is often sold under the name of "chai" or "chai tea", as a way of differentiating it from other types of teas sold in the US. In Vietnamese cuisine, cloves are often used to season the broth of Phở. Due to the Indonesian influence, the use of cloves is widespread in the Netherlands. Cloves are used in cheeses, often in combination with cumin. Cloves are an essential ingredient for making Dutch speculaas and also spekkoek, similar in taste as the widely known skelaas, yet different in appearance. Furthermore, cloves are used in traditional Dutch stews like hachee. During Christmas, it is a tradition in some European countries to make pomanders from cloves and oranges to hang around the house. This spreads a nice scent throughout the house and acts as holiday decorations. Cloves are often used as incense in the Jewish practice called Havdala. Cloves are traded in whole and ground, also the stems (clove stems) are widely traded, particularly for uses in ground form. BM Uniproducts BV supplies cloves as a whole product, and cloves stems have also been imported over the years.