Cloves – magical mystical spice of a mystery

So in reading some history last week (I have no life) I was reminded that the Portuguese and Dutch slugged it out over spices: specifically cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and pepper. And I experienced a hurt brain (more than usual). Cloves? Really? I can understand nutmeg, cinnamon, and pepper, but cloves barely play a bit part in my kitchen.

I don’t even own a full jar, just the little tiny one:


So adventuring rogues really impaled other adventuring rogues with renaissance era edged weapons over cloves? I can see that only for other spices. Like take cayenne. I’d sack and burn Rome six times before I’d let anybody take my cayenne. Or cardamom, that would make sense too. But cloves?

So I had to do some research (I have no life) to figure out why this battle hardened ingredient has fallen out of favor whence it was once worth stabbing a dude in his gullet over. This investigation was the most extensive ever conducted. The brilliance on display is unmistakable. But do I hit the mark? I’ll let you decide.

Potential answers:

– Now that your standard kitchen has access to all the world’s spices; cloves are less unique and prized than when a kitchen had maybe only four or five spices; as in, when stacked against 30 spices, cloves get ranked 27th

– Cloves are used primarily in cuisine styles I attempt less often

– The clove trade was monopolized by Johann Van Der Smith in 1834; he became known as Van Clove; all opposition to his clove domination was met with derringer fire; The Folk became disgusted that so much brutal gang violence was associated with the spice; and after Van Clove’s untimely passing via seventeen stab wounds to the back, cloves were used less due to the negative association 

– Cloves are used more often in baking, which I am horrible at (so very horrible)

– Of all the former big Spice Island spices, cloves are the most haunted; as in, the cloves want us to think they’re undervalued, and then when humanity’s backs are turned, they’ll make their move

– Generally speaking, I’m an idiot, and this circumstance is unrelated to the level of popularity of cloves


Ah history, you’re so awesome, for in your stories this little thing once cost six-hundred times more than cocaine

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