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Carob was used to measure the worth of gems and gold in ancient times

Carob is often used as a substitute for chocolate

Photo © Flickr user Ferran Nogués
Latin Name: Ceratonia siliqua

Other Names: St. John's Bread

Type: Tree

Native to: Mediterranean region

Fruit: The 4-12" pods are brown and contain 10-13 seeds.

A distant relative is tamarind.

Size: The carob tree is usually 30-50' tall.

Hardiness: Can grow in Zones 9-10, 8 with protection

Propagation:Seeds. This tree is dioecious and both male and female trees will be needed.

Uses: Carob is lower in fat than cacao, and it is often used as a chocolate substitute. Extracts from the seeds can also be used as thickeners in cooking. In Germany, a coffee substitute is made from the carob seeds.

In ancient times, the carob seed was used to measure the worth of gems and gold since the seeds have a generally uniform weight. This is where the word "carat" comes from.
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