What Is Carob?

Carob is a small to medium sized, long-lived evergreen tree with dense foliage.  The fruit is a dark brown flattened pod.  It contains a sweet, chocolate tasting pulp and several bean-like seeds.  The carob tree originates in the Mediterranean and is a member of the Legume (Pea) family.  It is caffeine-free, rich in phosphorus and calcium, high in protein, and low in fat.  Spaniards carried carob to Mexico and South America, and the British took carob to South Africa, India, and Australia.  Carob is now grown commercially in South Australia and the trees grow in Cowra, NSW so much so that they even have a road named for them, Carob Bean Ave.

The pods are edible and are often used for livestock feed.  The pod contains up to 15 seeds which are surrounded by a pulp.  The seeds, which are remarkably uniform in size and weight, are thought to have been the original standard carat weight used by jewellers and goldsmiths.

Unlike chocolate, which requires sugar to make it palatable, carob has a natural sweetness which allows it to be used sugar free.  This natural sweetness is one of the things that attract livestock. Carob pods are typically dried or roasted and mildly sweet.  In powdered, chip, or syrup form it is used as an ingredient in cakes and sweets and is used as a substitute for chocolate.  Carob is free of the allergenic and addictive effects of caffeine and theobromine present in cocoa.  It also contains less fat and more sugar than cocoa.

Mountain Creek carries a wide range of carob products. In addition to our bulk carob range (see Bulk Items page) we supply carob buckwheat crispbread, carob coated rice cakes, carob coated licorice logs, carob coated marshmallows, and kibbled carob pods. We also stock carob powder, which can be used as a one-for-one cocoa substitute, and carob syrup.  Carob Syrup pairs well with pears, figs, bananas, apples and red berry fruits.  It can be used in milk for a hot or cold drink or over ice cream and yoghurt.  Add rich carob syrup to marinades, sauces and dressings.

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