The word 'clove' is from the Latin word for 'nail' - clavus. Cloves are the immature unopened flower buds of a tropical tree. When fresh, they are pink, dried, they turn to a rust-brown colour. Measuring 12-16 mm (1/2"-5/8") long, they resemble small nails, with a tapered stem. The large end of the clove is the four-pointed flower bud. Their flavour can be termed as sweetly pungent, astringent and strongly aromatic. Cloves were a very expensive and coveted spice.