Dubrovnik Carob – The Gift of Nature
The Key Ingredient to One of Dubrovnik’s Popular Desserts
Carob almost fell into oblivion in the second half of the 20th century. Carob pods were left unused under the tree they had fallen from, only to be rediscovered for their numerous health benefits. Carob trees can be found all over Dalmatia and provide the key ingredient for one of Dubrovnik’s popular desserts – the carob cake. What’s so special about carob to be defined as the gift of nature? Finely ground carob makes great sweet flour tasting like cocoa. This flour is gluten-free, and a great source of protein, fiber, and minerals. Due to the high content of phosphorus and calcium, the carob supports bones and tooth health. To top it all, it is low in calories!
The intoxicating summer aromas at Šipan island
Among the intoxicating summer aromas of the Mediterranean olive groves, sage, and immortelle, the chocolate brown pods of carob trees add a special fragrant note. The pods are 20 cm long and ripe at the end of the summer. Dubrovnik’s most famous variety is Carin. This tree is very resistant to drought, and it grows only on Šipan Island. It is known as the king among carobs. Carob trees are beautiful big trees growing on poor soil, live up to 200 years, and yield up to 300kg of fruit per tree. They have a thick bark used for making furnishings. Carob wood had been in use as veneer in the Middle Ages in intarsia woodworking. Its bark and leaves were used for leather tanning.
Carob flour – the perfect substitute for chocolate
The Goravica family, natives of Šipan island, have been devoted cultivators of this unique island variety of trees. After many years of sailing the oceans, Mate Goravica turned to carob processing on the family’s old plantation of 40 carob trees on his native island. Carob flour from Šipan is sought-after in health food stores because it is used as a natural sweetener while making luxurious products ranging from cakes to spreads and puddings. The finely ground flour is used as a substitute for coffee.
Carob seeds have been found in Egyptian tombs where they accompanied the mummy to the after-world.
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