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Clove at the Heart of Village Life

Clove at the Heart of Village Life

Back from Madagascar, 2024

A light and infectious atmosphere of joy prevails in this place. Families engage in the sorting of cloves while taking the opportunity to converse with their neighbors. The latest news is shared, and lively discussions about ongoing harvests fill the air.

The Clove Tree

Cloves come from the clove tree, whose botanical name is Syzygium aromaticum. This tropical tree is native to the Moluccan Islands in Indonesia. It was introduced to the island of Madagascar in the early 19th century, thanks to the efforts initiated by Pierre Poivre a few years earlier in the Mascarene Islands.


Clove Buds, Precious Floral Buds

It takes approximately 7 years for a clove tree to start bearing fruit. Cloves are the dried floral buds of this plant. Harvesting requires a certain level of agility, as the tree can grow up to 20 meters tall.


Cloves Harvesting

The harvest begins when the floral buds turn slightly red, just before they bloom. Harvesting is exclusively done by hand. Afterward, the cloves are sun-dried on mats and regularly turned to prevent fermentation. Following the drying process, they are hand-sorted and graded.



Did you know?


The history of cloves is fascinating. Over the centuries, the clove tree has been introduced to various parts of the world, including South America, Africa, India, and Asia. Cloves have even been found on the floor of a burnt kitchen at the Mesopotamian site of Terqa in Syria, dating back to 1700 BCE. Chinese courtiers in the 3rd century BCE used to chew cloves to freshen their breath before presenting themselves to the emperor. The introduction of cloves to France in the 18th century by French agronomist Pierre Poivre is also a significant part of the spice's history, as he managed to acquire a few clove tree plants from the Moluccan Islands, thwarting Dutch attempts to monopolize the global trade in this spice.




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