What’s that food?


Molasses is a pantry item that most people are familiar with. Its uses are versatile, from baking cookies and cakes, to amping up sauces and marinades. Blackstrap molasses, made from sugar beets is most common in Atlantic Canadians’ kitchens and it’s often used to add a sharp-yet-sweet flavour to dishes.

Carob molasses is different in that it is created by boiling the fruit of the carob tree in water, straining it and then reducing it down to a syrup. It is commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisine, and has a rich, chocolate-like flavour. It is known as a natural source of calcium because it contains three times more calcium than cow’s milk. The syrup is also rich in iron, phosphorus, and natural fibers.

Photo Credit: Laura Weatherbie/Salty

The carob tree or bush is native to the Mediterranean region and the carob pods (legumes) are also dried and ground down to be used as a cocoa replacement. Unlike cocoa, there is no caffeine in carob powder, so it can be used to flavour foods where caffeine would not be desirable (such as dog treats). An indication of carob’s importance in former times is that the term ‘carat’, the unit to measure diamonds and other precious metals, is derived from the Greek word kerátiοn. An ancient practice was to weigh gold and other metals against carob tree seeds in the Middle East.

We found this carob molasses in Black and White Convenience Store in Charlottetown, but you can look anywhere you typically find Middle Eastern products for your jar.

About Cheryl Young

A “Jill of all trades” describes Cheryl to a T. From operating her own handyperson company, to selling luxury cars, to working as a film and TV crew member, her resume is diverse. But her dream as a kid was to be a journalist and she started down that path many years ago at CBC Charlottetown. Returning to her journalism roots, she’s excited to be editing Salty’s content and occasionally writing herself.

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