Cloves are dried buds of a flower. They are aromatic, bringing a clean, almost menthol finish to a dish. They are very potent and so need to be used sparingly. If you taste a clove on its own, it can numb parts of your mouth and if over used in a dish, it has quite a medicinal flavour. Historically, cloves have been used as far back as 17 hundreds BC in Syria. However, cloves are not just for cooking, because of the chemicals contained in cloves, it can work well as an ant repellent.