Cloves are the dried, unopened, nail-shaped flower buds of an evergreen and have a strong, aromatic flavor and aroma. The flavor of cloves is bitter, hot, rich and a little sultry with hints of fruitiness while the aroma is strong with undertones of camphor and pepper. Cloves are one of the more pungent spices and their intensity can even be enough to burn your taste buds unless blended with other spices. Even when used with other spices cloves should be used sparingly as they will easily overpower any dish.
Cloves go well with apples, beets, carrots, chocolate, ham, onions, oranges, pork, squash and sweet potatoes.
Cloves works well in combination with allspice, bay, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, fennel, ginger, mace and nutmeg.