Carob is not a substitute for chocolate. “The poor carob pod and its syrup became horribly maligned during the 1970s as some kind of chocolate substitute,” says Plain Jane. “Memories of carob brownies still make me shudder with revulsion.” But it turns out that there are pleasures to be had from carob in its own right. “It wasn’t until the last year that at the urging of a friend, I finally picked up and tried a carob pod on a wildflower hike in the countryside. It was love at first bite!” says Plain Jane, who lived in carob-growing Cypress. “Carob syrup is rich, dense, and complex like molasses, but not as thick or heavy,” she says. “Use it when you want a flavor between molasses and honey.” In particular, try carob syrup with fresh figs during fig season, says Plain Jane, preferably accompanied by some Greek yogurt or vanilla ice cream.

Discuss: In defense of Carob syrup!

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