Carob a gastronomy treasure in Portugal
Carob is considered one of the most popular ingredients used in Portugal.
According to a report by Dinheiro Vivo website, the value at which the bean-like pod is sold has doubled in just a year, thanks the high demand for it in Portuguese gastronomy.
In the last 10 years, a kilo of carob pods has been sold for 30 cents a kilo. This year, the value has gone up to 60 cents per kilo, according to Isaurindo Chorondo from Industrial Farense, Portugal’s biggest carob group.
In 2018 alone, around €15 million-worth of carobs are believed to have been produced in Portugal.
Although carob trees can be found in abundance in the Algarve, demand has been so high that Portugal has been forced to import €136,000-worth of carobs in the first seven months of the year – way more than in the last eight years.
Carob bread, biscuits, energy bars, beer and other sweets are just a few of the products made using the flour extracted from the fruit.
Its reputation as a healthy product has helped carobs reach a “new status in Portuguese gastronomy”, says DV. Many describe the fruit as a ‘superfood’ and in the Algarve it is used in countless recipes as a healthy replacement for chocolate.