Carob (Ceratonia siliqua) is the fruit of the carob tree and grows as long, slightly curved, thick, dark brown pods anywhere from 4-10 inches (10-25 cm) in length.
Carob trees are very hardy, robust evergreens that can be found growing in many parts of the world, sometimes in the wild, but are also common as rural landscape trees.
There are many cultivars of the carob tree all with slightly varied characteristics.
Just like there are different kinds of apples, there are different kinds of carob. In Cyprus, an island in the Mediterranean Sea, they have Honey Carob which produces a soft textured pod and is known to ooze a dark syrup.
From a nutritional standpoint, carob is rich in a number of vitamins and minerals, but is known to be particularly high in calcium. Being a member of the legume family it is a source of protein and contains a substantial amount of dietary fiber. Throughout history carob has been used as a digestive aid and was traditionally used to soothe an upset stomach.
Carob contains some antioxidants, mostly in the form of polyphenols.
It has alkalizing effects on body pH and in certain cultures it is considered to be an aphrodisiac.