Lon J. Rombough
lonrom at hevanet.com
Sun May 2 16:15:28 EDT 2004
I used to eat Carob pods regularly and can relate from experience that it's
the pod itself, not the seed, that is used for carob powder. The pod is
extremely thick and full of sugars and when dry, is quite sugary inside,
while the seeds are extremely hard and if not actually inedible, are so hard
and make up such a small volume compared to the pod, I can't see using them.
The native Honey Locust is very similar, though it doesn't have as much
sweet pulp as the carob.
Carob is grown as a street tree in parts of California, but it takes a
long, dry season to mature the pods well. Any rain on it when it is mature
and the pods quickly go sour and spoil. I believe there were (are?) a
couple of commercial growers in southern California, but it has been a
while, so I don't remember who they are now.
The Carob Tree/Egyptian Thorn, Ceratoria siliqua, another leguminous tree,
yields seeds from which Carob Powder is derived, is used as a cocoa
substitute by those seeking to
avoid theobromine and caffeine.
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