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Don’t think of carob as a chocolate substitute. Doing that means that you expect carob to be just like chocolate, and it isn’t: it’s different. You may have noticed carob bars in health food stores, and this may have led you to believe that carob is healthier than chocolate. If so, you’re quite right. It is. The product does not contain caffeine or other stimulants. On the other hand, it is not as sweet as chocolate and, while the tastes of carob and chocolate are similar, similar does not mean identical.

The carob tree (aka St John’s-bread, and the locust bean, though the African locust bean is a different plant) is a member of the pea family, which probably explains why it is grown for its edible pods as well as being quite an attractive ornamental tree. It is a Mediterranean native and a little oddity of which most people seem unaware is that the carat, by which the purity of gold is measured, comes from the Greek word for a carob seed, kerátion. The Greek name for the plant itself is charoupia (χαρουπιά,) in which we can see the origin of the word carob.

When the pods are ripe, they are dried and then ground to make carob powder. You will usually find powder described as “a replacement for cocoa powder,” although, in Europe, it is actually the other way round, because powder was being used here for thousands of years before Spanish and Portuguese navigators brought chocolate to us.

And, now that we’ve said you shouldn’t regard carob as a substitute for chocolate, we face the question, “How do we use this product?” and the answer is, use it as you would use chocolate. Or, at least, that’s sort of the answer. The point is that you’re going to use carob in ways in which you might have used chocolate or cocoa powder, and the results are going to be not entirely dissimilar, but both the taste and the texture will be different. So, if you have a recipe that calls for cocoa powder, and you’d like to use carob powder instead – you can! But you should use two and a half times as much.

The recipe calls for 2 ounces of cocoa powder? Use 5 ounces of carob powder. As long as you keep that rule in mind, you can use it in cakes, biscuits and cookies, chocolate drinks, icing for cakes – anything, in fact, for which you might normally use chocolate. If you find that you are now substituting carob for chocolate in everything, don’t be surprised. You won’t be the first, and you won’t be the last.

Company Info

Contact Person: Nikos Andrea
Mailing Address: Koniele Trading LTD,
Evagorou 6, Dromolaxia, Cyprus 7020
Call/Text: 00 357 97 884776
Company Reg. No: HE343968