26 06 2009

(Ceratonia Siliqua)

Harvested from carob-pod trees growing wildly in Spain, this is a full-bodied and sweet crystal-like powder that freshens up and cools all recipes giving that extra depth to chocolate recipes in particular.

The carob tree is a member of the legume (pea) family and it grows in Mediterranean areas. It favours arid conditions which are naturally alien to fungus and pests, so little or no chemical sprays are needed in its cultivation.

Nutritional Factors

Carob is 80% protein and contains vitamins A, B, B2, B3 and D. It is also high in calcium, phosphorous, potassium and magnesium and contains iron, manganese, barium, copper and nickel.

The pulp, in the seedpods of carob, is very nutritious and, due to its high sugar content, sweet-tasting and mildly laxative. It can gently help to cleanse and relieve irritation within the gut. The seedpods are also used in the treatment of coughs.

Although it has only been used in manufacture and baking in Britain for some 20 years, carob is by no means a newly discovered food and evidence of the use of carob products by humans, date back to ancient Greece and Egypt where the plant was used as a source of food. The Greek Theophratus recorded in 4BC that his contemporaries called the carob the Egyptian fig. Ancient Egyptians used the gummy properties of carob seed by using it as an adhesive in binding mummies and the pods and seeds have been found in Egyptian tombs. The Romans are said to have eaten the pods when green and fresh for their natural sweetness.





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