Found across the Mediterranean region, the carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua) grows up to 10m tall, and produces broad-bean-like pods which, when ripe, turn black and fall to the ground. The pods are then eaten by animals and birds (or become stuck to the soles of your shoes), which helps to distribute the seeds far and wide.

Carob production has a long history in Cyprus. It was an important source of sugar before cane and beet (carob syrup was known as “black gold”). It is still widely used as a substitute for chocolate in baking and in health foods, and has been an ingredient in the production of everything from film stock to medicine. You’ll see carob warehouses in many of the island’s coastal towns, such as Zygi and Lakki.

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