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Ginger, Nutmeg and Cloves

Ginger, Nutmeg and Cloves are three popular spices used in cooking and culinary dishes. These three spices come from different geographic locations, but are used all over the globe.

People love to use these spices in baking, as well as meat, poultry, vegetable, and other dishes. Herbee and I would like to share with you some insight on three more great spices and hopefully give you some ideas for your cooking needs.

Ginger is one of the most multi-purpose spices used today. It is native to southern Asia. Ginger is grown and cultivated in Puerto Rico, and the southern part of Florida. The main source comes from Jamaica. Originally, this plant was grown in the Orient many centuries ago.

This plant needs good drainage to grow, along with plentiful moisture. The stem of the plant is dug out of the ground ten to twelve months after planting. The root is cleaned off.

Ground Ginger

Ground Ginger

Ground Nutmeg

Ground Nutmeg

Ground Ginger comes from the root. The root is responsible for all of the plant's culinary and baking delights. The Ginger root has a wonderful aroma and can be dried, preserved, or a powder form. Ground is shown in the picture above.

There are two ways you can dry the root. One is to leave the outer layer on and put the root in boiling water. The root can then dried in full sun. The other method is to peel off the outer layer carefully and boil the inner portion of the root. It is also put out in the direct sunlight until the root is completely dried.

Preserve the root by cleaning it off and boiling the root in a combination of honey and sugar. This process is done three to four times, until the entire root has been saturated with sugar and honey. It's wonderful taste.

In India, Ginger tea is very popular. This ground spice is used in so many baking recipes for breads, cookies, cakes, pies, and also in beer and soda.

Ground Nutmeg is derived from the dried seeds found in shells off a Nutmeg tree. The spice Mace also comes from the Nutmeg tree. Mace comes from the outer part of the shell.

Nutmeg trees are grown in tropical climates and are most prevalent in the islands of Grenada, Java, and Singapore. The Dutch are very familiar with the nutmeg tree. It dates back in their history books to the Dutch East India Company.

The Dutch exported the nutmeg to other countries. The Nutmeg tree itself is a beautiful evergreen and has big shiny leaves. The trees grow in large groups together, called groves or orchards. The tree can mature from eighteen to twenty four feet tall. The nutmeg shells have round and oval shapes.

Whole Cloves

Whole Cloves

Ground Cloves

Ground Cloves

Ground and whole Cloves come from a gorgeous tropical evergreen tree. The ground and whole cloves are made from the flower buds. It is native to the Dutch Indies. The Dutch came up with the name of the flower bud and called it the spice nail.

Today, many forests of clove trees are located in the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba, located in the Indian Ocean. They produce the largest clove crop for export. This is the source for importing cloves to the the United States.

Usually there are two different harvest times in one year. The first one arrives in July through October, and the other one is from December through January. The flower buds are picked from the branches or limbs by hand. The buds are picked when they are green, and arranged on large mats. The mats are spread out to catch the direct sunlight.

Depending on the weather, it usually takes anywhere between four to ten days for the flower buds to completely dry. After the buds are totally dry, they are grated to get whole cloves, or grind them up to get ground cloves. They are ready for export now and the time has come to enjoy this special spice in many different dishes.

Cloves add flavor to meats, soups, vegetables, and sauces. We love to put cloves in a hot winter cider along with other fruits and spices. Simmering it all day allows the aroma to fill the house.

Clove also produces a fragrant smell and is used in potpourris and different delicate sachets. This is one of our favorite spices to play around with in the kitchen.

Herbee's Hot Buzzing Kitchen Goodies Just For You

Herbee Greenthumb

Herbee and I own this Herb and Spice Book, and highly recommend it to you!

Milo does a fantastic job and his descriptions and information is priceless.

Egg Nog at New Years Eve tastes wonderful with some Nutmeg sprinkled on top. We grew up with our dad making Egg Nog every New Years Eve. It was delicious! Nutmeg can also be used to add flavor to soups and different vegetables.The fruits from the tree are used to make fantastic jams and jellies. In my kitchen, we like to keep these three spices handy along with fresh herbs.

The nutmeg tree is both male and female. It takes about eight to nine years for the tree to mature fully. It is the female tree that produces the kernels with the seeds inside.

Nutmegs are picked up from the ground or off the branches and cleaned. The outer layer is removed. This spice is dried out in full sun. It can take five to six weeks to dry. The kernels are opened and the nutmeg is ready to use.

Nutmeg is grown for so many different culinary dishes. A teaspoon or two of this spice gives new meaning to some cakes, cookies and puddings.

Each of these three spices, Ginger, Nutmeg and Clove, offer many different opportunities in preparing great culinary dishes and tasty baked goods. Go ahead and put a little spice in your life with Ginger, Nutmeg, and Cloves!

Other Articles You Might Be Interested In.

Herb Garden Tips --- Herb Garden Plans

Cinnamon --- More Spices Besides Ginger, Nutmeg, and Cloves

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