Carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua)

General info about Fruit

These trees cannot withstand waterlogging, although the root system is usually deep. It grows well in warm temperate and subtropical areas and tolerates hot and humid coastal areas. It is a xerophytic (drought-resistant) species, well adapted to the ecological conditions of the Mediterranean region. It is also one of the few trees present in the altiplanic desert of South America, where it is known as algarrobo.
The scientific name of the carob tree derives from the Greek keras, “horn”, and Latin siliqua, alluding to the hardness and shape of the pod.
The term “carat” or the units by which diamond weight is measured, is derived from the ancient practice of weighing diamonds against the seeds of the carob tree. The system was eventually standardized and one carat was fixed at 0.2 grams.

How to choose a ripe and fresh Fruit

The unripe pod is green, moist and very astringent; the ripe pod sweet when chewed (avoiding the seeds) but the odor of the broken pod is faintly like Limburger cheese because of its 1.3% isobutyric acid content.

Ways to prepare and serve the Fruit

Edible Parts: Seed; Seedpod.
Edible Uses: Chocolate; Coffee; Egg; Gum.
Seedpods - raw or ground into a powder. The seedpods are filled with a saccharine pulp and can be eaten both green or dried. They are very sweet but fibrous, the pulp can be used as a chocolate substitute in cakes, drinks etc. It is rich in sugars and protein. The pods contain about 55% sugars, 10% protein and 6% fat. Seed - rich in protein. A flour is made from them which is 60% protein, it is free from sugar and starch and is suitable for baking. It can be used as a chocolate substitute. An edible gum is extracted from the seed, a substitute for Gum Tragacanth (see Astragalus species). A stabilizer and thickening agent, it is also used as an egg substitute. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute.

Health Benefits and Warnings of eating Fruit

Medicinal Uses

Astringent; Demulcent; Emollient; Purgative.

The pulp in the seedpods of carob is very nutritious and, due to its high sugar content, sweet-tasting and mildly laxative. However, the pulp in the pods is also astringent and, used in a decoction, will treat diarrhoea and gently help to cleanse and also relieve irritation within the gut. Whilst these appear to be contradictory effects, carob is an example of how the body responds to herbal medicines in different ways, according to how the herb is prepared and according to the specific medical problem. The seedpods are also used in the treatment of coughs. A flour made from the ripe seedpods is demulcent and emollient. It is used in the treatment of diarrhoea. The seed husks are astringent and purgative. The bark is strongly astringent. A decoction is used in the treatment of diarrhoea.

Other Uses

Cosmetic; Tannin; Wood.

A flour made from the seedpods is used in the cosmetic industry to make face-packs. Tannin is obtained from the bark. Wood - hard, lustrous. Highly valued by turners, it is also used for marquetry and walking sticks.



From more than 80 clones, 7 selections made by Coit were set out at the Citrus Research Center of the University of California for preservation. The 7 are, briefly:
‘Amele’-an old commercial variety from Italy; S.P.I. #19437. Female. Pods light-brown, straight or slightly curved, 5 1/2 to 6 1/4 in (14-16 cm) long, 3/4 to 1 in (2-2.5 cm) wide; 53.8% sugar content under irrigation near Indio. Flavor good. Season: September at Indio; October at Vista.
‘Casuda’-a very old cultivar from Spain. Female. Pod brown, mostly straight; 4 3/4 in (12 cm) long; 3/5 in (1.5 cm) wide; 51.7 % sugar at Vista; 56.7 % under irrigation at Indio. Flavor fair. Season: September at Indio; October at Vista.
‘Clifford’-seedling street tree in Riverside. Hermaphrodite. Pod light-brown, slightly curved, 5 1/8 in (13 cm) long, 3/4 in (2 cm) wide; 52.9% sugar content. Flavor fair. Season: early October; bears regularly and heavily.
‘Sfax’-from Menzel bou Zelfa, Tunisia; S.P.I. #187063. Female. Pod red-brown, straight or slightly curved; 6 in (15 cm) long, 3/4 in (2 cm) wide; 56.6% sugar at Vista, 45.6% at Indio. Excellent flavor. Season: August at Indio, September at Vista. A regular, medium-heavy bearer.
‘Santa Fe’-seedling from Santa Fe Springs, California. Hermaphrodite; self-fertile. Pod light-brown, slightly curved, often twisted; 7 to 7 7/8 in (18-20 cm) long, 3/4 in (2 cm) wide; 47.5% sugar at Vista. Excellent flavor. Season: October. Bears regular, good crops. Good for coastal foothills. Not suited to irrigated culture at Indio.
‘Tantillo’-from Sicily; S.P.I. #233580. Hermaphrodite. Pod dark-brown, mostly straight; 5 1/8 to 6 in (13-15 cm) long, 3/4 in (2 cm) wide. Of fair flavor. Season: mid-September to mid-October. Bears heavily and regularly.
‘Tylliria’-from Cyprus; their chief export variety; S.P.I. # 189008. Female. Pod dark mahogany-brown, slightly curved, 6 in (15 cm) long, 3/4 to 1 in (2-2.5 cm) wide; 47.4% sugar at Vista; 50.9% at Indio; 48.8% in Cyprus. Good flavor. Season: mid-August to mid-September at Indio; October at Vista. Adapted to coastal foothills. (As reported from Cyprus, seed content is 7.6 to 10.6%; pod contains 51 % sugar and the seeds 49% gum).
These 7 superseded some older cultivars, including ‘Bolser’, ‘Conejo’, ‘Gabriel’, ‘Horne’, and ‘Molino’; all hermaphroditic.
Other common cultivars in Cyprus are:
‘Koundourka’-a tree with weeping branches; mature pods generally less than 6 1/2 in (17 cm) long; they split readily; have 14.7% seeds with a high (58%) gum content.
‘Koumbota’-a large-growing tree with “knotty” pods with low seed content. Pods contain 53% sugar; seeds, 53% gum.
Grafted types are classed as ‘Imera’. The name ‘Apostolika’ is a general term for seedlings of fair quality. Wild types as a group are called ‘Agria’.

Scientific classification

Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Ceratonia
Species:C. siliqua
Binomial name
Ceratonia siliqua

Recipes made mainly with this Fruit

Carob (Locust bean) drink Kharroob
Carob is the legume fruit of the Carob tree, Ceratonia siliqua. It is also known as Locust bean, kharoob, and in Arabic
The fruit is consumed in Egypt as a snack, and used to make a refreshing cold drink popular in shops and street vendors

Preparation Time
0.75 hours
• 1 cup carob pods, crushed
• 1 cup sugar
Cooking Instructions
• Place the crushed carob pods in a sauce pan with the sugar.
• Heat on medium, stirring constantly, until the sugar is caramelized.
• Add 8 cups of water, and bring to a boil.
• Set aside to cool.
• Strain through a muslin cloth.
• Refrigerate in a jug.
To serve, add chilled water to taste.

1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. butter
1/2 c. honey
4 tbsp. carob powder
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 egg, well beaten
Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat. Add honey, sift in carob and cocoa powders. Using a wire whisk, blend together, then blend in the vanilla and egg. Sift together the flour and baking powder into the saucepan.
Mix all together (you may add 1-2 teaspoons milk if it seems too thick). Pour into a greased 8 inch square pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 35-40 minutes.


2 tsp. dry yeast
1 3/4 c. warm water, 110 degrees
3 tbsp. molasses
1 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. skim milk powder
3 tsp. liquid oil
3 tbsp. toasted carob powder
4 1/2 to 5 c. whole wheat flour
Combine yeast and water in large mixing bowl; allow to dissolve 5 minutes. Add molasses, salt, milk, oil and carob; slowly add flour until dough pulls away. Turn onto lightly floured board, knead 5 to 7 minutes. Shape, place in bread pan, cover and let rise until 1/2 to 3/4 inches above rim of pan. Bake at 325 degrees 50 to 60 minutes. Brush top with water 2 to 3 times while baking. … re=related