Ceratonia Siliqua Carob 15 Seeds
Ceratonia siliqua, commonly known as the carob tree and St John's-bread, is a species of flowering evergreen shrub or tree in the pea family, Fabaceae. It is widely cultivated for its edible pods, and as an ornamental tree in gardens. The ripe, dried pod is often ground to carob powder which is used as a substitute for cocoa powder.
It is native to the Mediterranean region including Southern Europe, Northern Africa, the larger Mediterranean islands; to the Levant and Middle-East of Western Asia into Iran; and to the Canary Islands and Macaronesia. The word Carat, a unit of purity for gold alloys, was derived from the word carob.
The Ceratonia siliqua tree grows up to 15 metres (49 ft) tall. The crown is broad and semi-spherical, supported by a thick trunk with brown rough bark and sturdy branches. Leaves are 10 to 20 centimetres (3.9 to 7.9 in) long, alternate, pinnate, and may or may not have a terminal leaflet. It is frost-tolerant.
Carob consumed by humans is the dried (and sometimes roasted) pod, and not the 'nuts' or seeds. Carob is mildly sweet and is used in powdered, chip, or syrup form as an ingredient in cakes and cookies, and in chocolate substitute. Carob is rich in sugars - Sucrose = 531g - 93 g/kg dry weight for cultivated varieties and 437 - 77 g/kg in wild type varieties. Fructose and glucose levels do not differ between cultivated and wild type carob.
Chocolate contains theobromine, which is poisonous to some mammals, but carob does not, and is used to make chocolate-flavored treats for dogs.
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.
In Malta, a syrup is made out of carob pods. This is a traditional medicine for coughs and sore throat.
A traditional sweet, eaten during Lent and Good Friday, is also made from carob pods in Malta. However, carob pods were mainly used as animal fodder in the Maltese Islands, apart from times of famine or war when they formed part of the diet of many Maltese.