Cloves are a spice made from the flower buds of an evergreen tree called, appropriately enough, the clove tree. Clove flower buds are harvested in their immature state , and then dried.
These can be used whole or ground, and they have a very strong, pungent flavour and aroma. Whole cloves are shaped like a small, reddish brown spike, usually around one centimetre in length, with a bulbous top.
Cloves are used to flavour sauces, soups and rice dishes, notably a number of traditional Indian dishes, and its one of the components of garam masala.
They are often paired with cinnamon or nutmeg, but in general, its a good idea to use sparingly.