The carob, whose name derives from the Arabic “kharrub”, is a plant evergreen, very long-lived, being able to exceed several centuries, and of large size: it can reach 10-12 meters in height, while the crown diameter often exceeds 10 meters. The fruits of the plant, the carobs appear in spring and reach full ripeness in period of August-September.
The carob was born as a spontaneous tree in the lands of the eastern basin of the Mediterranean. Its cultivation seems to have started only at time of the Greeks, who extended it to Sicily, but it was the Arabs who made it
they intensify the cultivation and propagate it as far as Morocco and in Spain. Other authors argue that the original spread of the carob in Sicily it would be due to the Phoenicians, the most ancient colonizers of the island.
The fruits of the carob tree Le Carrube resemble the pod of the bean, but they are larger and dark brown in color.
Carob flour is a typical Sicilian product.Useful for those on a diet, Useful for its fiber content, Contains antioxidants, Fights high cholesterol, Regulates intestinal functions, Fights osteoporosis suitable for adults and childrenIt is commonly used in low-calorie preparations sold as light or slimming products (100 gr. of carob have a caloric yield equal to 205 calories). The carobs do not contain psychoactive substances and its flour can be used as a worthy substitute for cocoa to make cakes, donuts, ice cream and other sweets. Its flavor is similar to that of chocolate and goes well with fruit fresh and honey. Carob flour can also be used in addition to durum wheat to prepare pasta, for the preparation of tagliatelle, cavati and the wonderful ravioli stuffed with Caciocavallo Dop Ragusano our grandparents, moreover, prepared one with the pulp of the carob beans
The most common species are the Morescana, the Racemosa, the Saccarata, the Latinissima e the Falcata.
The carobs grow during the spring and the fruit reaches full maturity in late summer. The flowers take nearly a year to turn into ripe fruit. Collect them still soft, because once dried by the sun, they will be good only for making rosoli.
Today, however, the cosmetic industry has come very close to carob seeds. They contain many mucilages (about 60%) mainly consisting of galactomannans. The latter are hydrophilic polysaccharides capable of giving the skin elasticity and hydration.