Cloves are the dried, unopened flower buds of an evergreen tree. They are named from the latin clavus, meaning nail, which they resemble. Cloves are known to be the most pungent of all spices, and are native to the Indonesian archipelago. They have since traveled the World and are now an essential part of the most famous spice mixes: Chinese five spices, French quatres épices, Indian garam masala and some versions of Middle Eastern ras el hanout. The flavors work well with meat, curries, marinades, as well as fruit such as apples, pears or rhubarb. Cloves may be used to give aromatic and flavor qualities to hot beverages, often combined with other ingredients such as lemon and sugar. Cloves are best used when fished out prior to serving, as biting into a whole clove releases an intense, unpleasant aroma. It pairs well with cinnamon, allspice, vanilla, red wine and basil, as well as onion, citrus peel, star anise, or peppercorns.