If spices had personality, the powerful clove would be bossy. When used too liberally, clove’s pungent peppery, fruity flavour will make your taste buds snap to attention. Its hot, acrid taste originates from the compound eugenol, a fragrance and flavouring agent in food. If you’re a culinary thrill-seeker, add cloves to a mulled wine trifle, black dal, or a lamb tagine. Clove’s bitterish, pungent taste creates a balance in spice mixes, such as garam masala, baharat, berbere and Chinese five spice blend. Sultry tropical clove buds add a zip to sugar cookies, polenta cake, chai rice pudding, beef stews or French onion soup. The warm spice pairs well with star anise, citrus and orange peel, vanilla and peppercorns, stimulating the mind as well as the taste buds. Clove can help alleviate brain fog and is known for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, relieving toothaches, sore gums and throat irritation, as well as healing infected wounds and cuts on the body. The spice may help reduce nausea and soothe an upset stomach. The warmth of clove will calm and strengthen you in your time of need, so keep the cookie jar filled with spiced gingerbread cookies all year round!