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.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Cyprus features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Video: 18 things not to miss in Cyprus

Video: 18 things not to miss in Cyprus

From ancient ruins to beautiful beaches, Cyprus has a multitude of incredible things to see and do. Whether you're after a challenging hike, fancy some wildlife…

27 Oct 2014 • Rough Guides Editors videocam Video
The best beaches in Europe

The best beaches in Europe

Porthcurno, UK The closest Britain gets to beach paradise in Cornwall, with turquoise waters that glint in the sunshine and fine yellow sand. High cliffs on ei…

19 Apr 2013 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month