Heartwarmers of the Clare Valley - Australian Carob Co.

The Australian Carob Co.

Carob Trees

I knew next to nothing about carob before going on this beautiful trip to The Clare Valley earlier this year. When we pulled up to the carob farm, we were greeted by endless rows of impeccably pruned, thick, and pretty standard looking green trees. After meeting our wonderful hosts Michael and Jam, we were guided over closer to the trees to have the 'whole carob thing' explained.

Carob Pods Growing

Most of us on the tour were fairly clueless about carob. Turns out it's actually a small pod that grows off the tree branches! You eat the whole pod, but funnily enough, unlike most other pods (chocolate, lotus) the seed/nut is either thrown away or processed and used in certain cosmetics. Unlike cocoa, carob pods are naturally sweet which makes them perfect for the Aus Carob Co. farm dog, who loves to eat over-ripe strays that fall from the tree.

The 3rd Family Member

Michael and Jam tend to every single tree by hand from pruning to picking and process all of their products on-site. Michael told us of his strong beliefs in controlling every step of the process as he led us to the large processing shed where the pods were dried and sorted.

Talking Carob
As he slid open the enormous iron door a wave of sweetly honey scented carob aroma brushed past our faces. After the euphoria subsided I noticed the insane level of cleanliness and care that had been put in to the storing shed. It was impeccable, no dust or dirt in sight and all of the equipment and pods were carefully stored in a well structured and visually pleasing manner. The tractor stored inside was cleaner than most peoples cars!

Inside the Processing Shed

It was really humbling to see the sheer amount of pride put in to the business, on every level. There is a true sense of caring and refined work that is often expected but so commonly missing when thinking about local artisans and the way their products are handled.

Inside the Processing Shed

After the tour we were invited in to Michael and Jam's family home to sample some home made carob products which were, of course, delicious. The Australian Carob Co produces two different powders (one roasted, one raw), a syrup and carob kibble (chewy pieces of dried carob pod).

Home Made Carob Cake
(clockwise) Kibble, Roasted Powder, Raw Powder

For most of the visit our tour group ended up listing off countless ideas of all the things that these products can be used for. The malty honey roasted flavour and subtle sweetness lends it well to savoury dishes (think BBQ rub, braised game, glazed ham, sauces) as well as sweet (endless baked goods, coffee, tea, mixed with milk, to flavour icing, in Christmas pudding/fruit cake). There was even talk of brewing beer with it!

The Product Range

I personally downed most of my bottle of syrup just mixed with cold/hot milk. It's great for children too as it provides a natural sweetness which is apparent enough to taste without the addition of extra sugar.

Find stockists and order online through the Australian Carob Co website, and don't forget to add a few spoonfuls of roasted powder in to this years Christmas pud!

Bon Apetit!


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