A. Carob is a tropical pod that contains a sweet, edible pulp and inedible seeds. After drying, the pulp is roasted and ground into a powder that resembles cocoa powder.
Found across the Mediterranean region, the carob tree (Ceratonia Siliqua) grows up to ten meters tall, and produces broad-bean-like pods which, when ripe, turn black . The pods are then eaten .Carob consumed by humans is the dried pod . Carob is mildly sweet and is used in powdered, chip, or syrup form as an ingredient in cakes and cookies, and as a substitute for chocolate.
Carob was eaten in Ancient Egypt. Carob juice drinks are traditionally drunk during the Islamic month of Ramadan. It was also a common sweetener and was used in the hieroglyph for "sweet" (nedjem). Dried carob fruit is traditionally eaten on the Jewish holiday of Tu Bishvat. Also it is believed to be an aphrodisiac.
In Cyprus, carob syrup is known as Cyprus's black gold, and is widely exported This is a traditional medicine for coughs and sore throat. A traditional sweet, eaten during Lent and Good Friday.
Carob syrup is also used as a natural sweetener and considered a natural source of calcium. It contains three times more calcium than milk. It is also rich in iron, phosphorus and natural fibers (Due to its strong taste, it can be found mixed with orange or chocolate or milk)
Carob pod meal is used as an energy-rich and palatable feed
The seeds, also known as locust beans are the source of locust bean gum — a food thickening agent.
The broken carob meal is used as an energy-rich and palatable feed for livestock, Carob production has a long history in Cyprus. It was an important source of sugar before cane and beet (carob was known as “black gold”).
It is still widely used as a substitute for chocolate in baking and in health foods, and has been an ingredient in the production of everything from film to medicine.