Carob Pod (St. John’s Bread)
The carob pod, whose taste is similar to chocolate, is as diverse as it is ancient: eat the carob pod as a snack, grind it up for cooking, or use it to make a cup of refreshing carob tea. Just boil 2 tsp of carob shell in water for about 5 minutes…and eat the remaining soft pieces later. But remember: the hard interior seeds are inedible. Comes with two pods. Store in a dry, dark cupboard.
A Bit of History
Carob pods have been used throughout the ancient Mid-East and Mediterranean for thousands of years. In some cultures it’s eaten during Lent and Good Friday and on the Jewish holiday Tu Bishvat. According to some scholars, the “locusts” which nourished St. John the Baptist as he preached in the desert wilderness were actually carob beans, hence, carob is also called “St. John’s Bread.”
Once an important source of sugar before cane sugar became widely available, carob pods are now a chocolate replacement and ingredient in cakes, cookies and drinks, including tea. Carob is high in fiber, calcium and anti-oxidants, is gluten- and- caffeine free, and can sooth stomach ailments, among others.