Carobs have grown in our region since ancient times; the extracted gum was used as an adhesive in mummification, and Theophrastus used it to treat diarrhoea.
Carobs are processed in two ways: first they are kibbled then the seed -- which is very hard -- is removed, and either roasted or subjected to an acid treatment that removes the coating.
The problem already looming large on the horizon is how we will survive without mqiqa in another month when my carob ripens and loses the special heavenly, slightly astringent flavor of its unripeness.
For seventy years I had survived ignorant of the fact that carob is actually edible before it is fully ripe and its fleshy seedpods are totally dry.
Black gold was the name Cypriots of the past gave carob trees because their versatile, valuable pods were such an important source of revenue.
At one time, there were reportedly more than two million carob trees in Cyprus, and in the 1900s, their pods were among Cyprus' main exports, used as livestock feed, in sweets and medicines and even as an aphrodisiac.
Medicinally, carobs are currently used for digestion problems including diarrhoea, heartburn and the inability to absorb certain nutrients from food.
Six thousand carob trees will be planted on Sunday at Orites, Paphos, the first of 40,000 that will make up the biggest organic carob plantation on the island as part of the University of Cyprus' Black Gold project.
Tomorrow in Peyia we can all enjoy a traditional Cypriot night during the sixth annual Festival of Carob from 7.
Visitors will be able to see the preparation of carob products -- including sweets, carob syrup and more.
At the event, two new products made from carobs were introduced, the first of many the project's organisers hope to make.
Currently, Petridou said, the chemistry department of the university is conducting research on which kinds of products are viable, and the biological scientist is investigating if carobs can prevent cancer.
SHEETS of metal to deter rats from chomping through carob
tree branches and using hormones to keep killer moths from laying their eggs on vines are just two of the ingenious methods employed by the Agrolife project which aim to discourage farmers from using pesticides and poisons on their crops.
Michalis Makri, an elderly farmer whose family has been cultivating carobs
for generations, says nobody knows how long the trees have been standing.
The production of carob
during four consecutive years is presented in Table 2.