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Castroni Ground Cloves
The Syzygium aromaticum (also known as Eugenia caryophyllata) is an evergreen tree of the Myrtaceae family which grows naturally in the Moluccan Islands, West Indies, Madagascar and Indonesia. The collected flowers, once dried and free of petal, assume the typical form of small nails and are used for medicinal purposes, disinfectants and as a local anesthetic. It is highly anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and it is helpful in treating mucosal wounds and diseases.
It is also widely used for food purposes, either neat or in powder form. China, Sri Lanka and northern India make heavy use, as well as the countries of North Africa and the Arab countries. In general it is used to flavour meat dishes or the rice. It is one of the ingredients of curry and Garam Masala.
In Europe is less used but the spice appears in many dishes both sweet and savory, like mulled wine, Christmas cakes, meat sauce, roasts, braised meats, preserves, stews and sauces. Is also used to flavour teas and herbal teas. In a bowl, is used to send away the butterflies that often spoil foods from our pantries.