Have you ever been to a chocolate or sweet shop and been offered carob? Did you look at them and think, “I am here for chocolate, can we get down to business already?”
That is what I thought when I was offered my first experience with carob. The store clerk explained it as similar to chocolate, just a little different taste. I remember it being not bad… but I still did not know what carob was.
Carob is a pod that is obtained from the ceratonia siliqua or the carob tree. The term siliqua actually is Latin for pod, or carob. This tree is originally found in the mediterranean region which includes northern Africa and southern Europe. The pods take a full year to develop until they are harvested. Then they are dried or roasted and then crushed if using it in powder form.
A few more fun facts about carob:
- It was given to the poor in times of famine so they would not ‘drain’ the farmer’s resources.
- Carob does not contain theobromine, which is the substance found in chocolate and is harmful to dogs.
- Carob was widely used for sugar until sugar can became available.
We put it to the test. We purchased a container of powdered carob from our local health food store. We then used it in some chocolate peanut butter cookies that you can find in an earlier post.
Not the same as chocolate, but not bad. It was pretty close the original recipe. However, I have a confession, I actually made this recipe twice to test the taste. Perhaps someone knows more than me, but does carob burn easily? The first time I made these cookies, I think I had the temperature too high and it burned. I made the recipe again and warmed up the carob solution on the lowest possible temperature and it turned out much better.
The Bottom Line
Not bad, but I probably will continue to use chocolate!
Do you guys have any experiences with carob?