Clove along with nutmeg and pepper were highly prized in Roman Era. The spices were traded by Arabs in the Middle ages but in the 15th century Portugal took over the trade. The Portuguese brought large quantities of cloves to Europe mainly from Malku Islands and valued it at seven grams of gold per kg. Later the Spanish then the Dutch dominated the trade till the seventeenth century.They are largely used as dried whole buds. Ground clove is used for curry mixtures and clove oil is used for flavoring foods and in pharmaceutical perfumery industry.Mainly grown in Mid Country wet zone of Sri Lanka. Clove grows well in a humid tropical climate from sea level up to 1000m elevation The flower buds should be detached from the stalks and both buds and stalks are dried in sun or artificial drier until they become dark brown and hard. Well dried good quality cloves are in golden brown color and badly dried cloves are soft and pale brown with a whitish mealy appearance which are known as “khuker” cloves. Green clove buds of the right stage give about 30% dry cloves. Well dried cloves (8-10% moisture) can be stored in gunny bags without damage by fungus and insects up to 2 years.

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