Jan 13, 2020
When I walked into my mothers house yesterday I smelled something wonderful. “What is that smell mom?” I asked. “Well you know what that is,” she said. “They are the cloved oranges that I’ve been making, you remember!” The smell was coming from oranges covered in cloves, an artistic tradition that my mother has followed for many years. And believe me the oranges and the cloves make the whole house smell delicious. In England cloved oranges have been made since the Elizabethan times. “Well everyone was so smelly back then,” joked my mother. In her kitchen on two metal stands, oranges dotted with cloves were sitting looking very pretty. It is an incredibly simple art project that many people enjoy in the winter in the UK. The more cloves you use, the longer the oranges are preserved. My mother actually has an orange that is completely covered with cloves which is many years old. When you finish putting the cloves in the orange skin you can thread a pretty ribbon through the orange from which you can hang it. “They used to wear smaller cloved fruit around their necks in the Elizabethan times,” said my mother. The smell of cloves is sweet, spicy and fruity. When you mix that with the wonderful smell of citrus fruit, you have an amazing combination. Cloves are native to the Maluku islands in Indonesia. They are grown more broadly now and enjoyed in many Asian, Africa, and Middle Eastern dishes, particularly those that are similar to curry. Some people believe that cloves relieve toothache and help to energize the body. But as is the case with many natural products, studies about their medicinal benefits are not conclusive or rarely even done. But I can tell you that whether or not cloves will relieve a toothache or give me energy, they are an enduring tradition and a personal favorite.
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