On the slopes of the volcano Mount Batur, there is a small Alpine village is far from the usual tourist routes. Accessible only by small steep roads, Munduk does not attract crowds. My guide is also the first surprise of my visit to this small village, which is at first sight uninteresting and yet teeming with a rare and sublime spice: cloves.
The clove tree is native to Indonesia’s volcanic Moluccas islands. Known since ancient times, cloves became fashionable in Europe during the Middle Ages. The subject of intense competition among Portuguese, Dutch and English spice traders, cloves were the most popular and most expensive spice, along with nutmeg and saffron, until the eighteenth century.