Clove-Harvest and storage
Clove starts yield from 7-8 years after planting. The stage of harvest of flower buds determines the quality of the final dried product.
Buds are harvested when the base of calyx turn from green to pink colour. If allowed to develop beyond this stage, the buds open, petals drop and an inferior quality spice is obtained on drying.
The unopened flower buds are picked green and dried in sun till they are dark brown, to obtain the clove of commerce. Drying should be done immediately after the buds are separated from the clusters.
Good quality cloves are brownish-black, with a full and plump crown, somewhat rough to touch, but without any wrinkles.
Yellowish wrinkled cloves are immature and yield volatile oil poorer in eugenol content which is its main constituent.
Quality cloves have fine aroma and flavour and are free from mould and exude oil when their stem is pressed with finger nails.