The Carob tree is a sacred tree. Carob trees like fig trees are considered ancient biblical trees. The pods are known as St Johns Bread and they are considered both a survival food a chocolate substitute and reputed to be an aphrodisiac. Pods are high in vitamins, minerals and protein content. The trees make excellent landscape specimens and great additions to a food forest or urban farm.
Subsistence on carob pods is mentioned in the Talmud: Berakhot reports that Rabbi Haninah subsisted on carob pods. It is also mentioned in the New Testament, in which Matthew 3:4 reports that John the Baptist subsisted on "locusts and wild honey"; the Greek word translated "locusts" likely refers to the hanging, swinging carob pods or locust beans, rather than to jumping grasshoppers. Again, in Luke 15:16, when the Prodigal Son is in the field in spiritual and social poverty, he desires to eat the pods that he is feeding to the swine because he is suffering from starvation. The use of the carob during a famine is likely a result of the carob tree's remarkable resilience to harsh climates and severe drought. During a famine, the swine were given only carob pods to eat so that they would not be a burden on the farmer's limited food resources.
Carob is typically dried or roasted, and is mildly sweet. In powdered, chip, or syrup form, it is used as an ingredient in cakes and cookies, and is widely used around the world as a substitute for chocolate.
Carob does not contain theobromine, a toxic alkaloid found in chocolate which can cause sleeplessness, tremors, restlessness, anxiety, nausea, and vomiting in humans and can be fatal to dogs and cats. This is why carob is used to make safe chocolate-flavored treats for dogs.
Carob was eaten in Ancient Egypt. 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. Carob juice drinks are traditionally drunk during the Islamic month of Ramadan. Also, it is long believed to be an aphrodisiac.
In Cyprus, their carob syrup is known as Cyprus black gold, and is widely exported.
In Malta, a syrup (ġulepp tal-ħarrub) is also made out from carob pods. A traditional sweet treat, eaten during Lent and on 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. This is a traditional Malta medicine for coughs and sore throat.
Carob pods were an important world source of natural sugar before sugarcane and sugar beets became widely cultivated for sugar... and before the corn industry invented the addictive and harmful drug high-fructose corn syrup which took over in America as a cheap, not natural sweetener in almost all commercial food.
Seedling trees coming soon. More information on growing also coming soon.