There is a place in Kyiv where `chocolate` grows on trees

08/11/2016

In the subtropical greenhouse of Fomin Botanical Garden one can find a tree called ceratonia (pea family) endemic to the Mediterranean region, however, it has been cultivated in Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Israel, Palestine, Greece. At the present time it also grows in India, Argentina, Brazil and other subtropical countries.

The fruits (long flat pods of 10-30 cm in size) contain up tp 50% sugar. Raw pods are inedible, that is why they are picked immature and dried in the sun, after that they become sweet.

The carob pods made syrup in Cyprus is called as 'black gold' and it is one of the main country's export products. In Malta, it is used as a remedy for coughs, colds, digestive disorders treatment, and immunity strengthening.

Sweets made from carob (powder from the dried tree pods) are often eaten during Lent.

The tree has one more amazing feature: despite different weather conditions (for example, high humidity and drought) the seed never changes its weight, 200 mg (in ancient Rome and Greece the seed was used to measure jewels, known as carat). 


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