The carob bean is the fruit of the carob tree, belonging to the legume family and very widespread in Ibiza.
The carob bean is composed of two parts that are well differentiated and have different uses: the pulp, which makes up 90% of the bean, which is used as human and animal food; and garrofin, from the seed, which is highly valued in the food, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, textiles and chemicals industries.
One of the most potentially profitable ways of using the carob bean is for human consumption. Exquisite products can be made with it, and some are being successfully commercialised. Some of the most noteworthy products are flour, syrup, various cakes, ice-creams, delicatessen products, liquors and soaps.
The carob bean exemplifies a series of values: it’s a raw material with a great economic and agricultural potential, it has excellent nutritional qualities, it’s a healthy alternative to cacao (in that it is naturally sweet, has less fat and no stimulants) and it contributes to biodiversity wherever it grows.
Despite all this potential, carob commercialisation has dif- ficult obstacles to overcome: it is a product for which there is little demand or consumption, since other, cheaper and better-known products already dominate the market; the benefits of carob are virtually unknown by the public at large; and it is traditionally associated with periods of hunger and with its use as an animal food.
There are various initiatives in Ibiza that encourage the consumption of carob products. These showcase a large variety of carob products at fairs and local markets with free samples and attractive presentation. This encourages us to benefit from its healthy nutritional qualities and culinary potential and increases support for local products among consumers.