Ask the Cook

Jorj Morgan is the Director of Lifestyle Content for Her expertise in the culinary field incorporates 25 years of entertaining as well as owning a successful catering company. She is in the process of publishing her first cookbook, "At Home In The Kitchen" due in Spring 2001.

Clove substitions

Cindy B. writes: "I have a recipe that calls for whole cloves, which I do not currently have. I do have ground cloves. What measure of ground cloves is equal to one whole clove?"

Answer: You would think that like all other dried herbs, substitution information would be printed on the label. Not true with cloves. So, I went to my favorite resource - "The Joy of Cooking." The authors note that "this spicy, dried, rich, unopened bud of the clove tree contains so much oil that you can squeeze it out with a fingernail. Because its flavor is so strong, the heads of the cloves are sometimes removed so the seasoning will be milder."

Essentially that is the difference. Whole cloves are much stronger than the powdered version. Although I did not find an equivalent measurement for whole cloves versus ground, I would suggest that you use 1/8 teaspoon whole cloves to 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves. If you find this to be too strong - or not strong enough, adjust the amounts and write down your favorite formula for future use. One more item noted in "Joy of Cooking." They suggest that before serving a dish cooked with whole cloves, that you always remove them. Now that's food for thought!

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Jorj Morgan is the Director of Lifestyle Content for