Monday, August 25, 2008

To your health

Wajdi, a very talented excavator at our dig, brought us this frozen bag of . . . of what??
In the heat it quickly melted and we were treated to glasses of CAROB juice.
My first time to drink carobs! A distinctive, special taste for sure.
Apparently the carob drink is traditional during the month of Ramadan which starts next week.

Today I took home some carob pods that had fallen from the tree on my street.
They are fun to play with as a rattle and fun to eat too.
You chew on the pod and discard the seeds.
Some use carob as a chocolate substitute. 

Last April the pods were pale green and soft.

The charuv (Hebrew name) or charub (in Arabic) tree is also know as Saint John's bread.
John the Baptist lived in caves right here in the Jerusalem Hills and was sustained by carobs, Christian tradition says.
The Talmud has a similar and amazing story about Shimon bar Yochai and his son which can be found here, at the second paragraph under Shabbat 33b.

Israeli bloggers Martha and ModraY have fascinating facts about the carob at their lovely blog "Flowers in Israel," if you still have strength to read more.
 By now you may be needing a sip of carob juice!


ichandrae said...

hello Dina.
Another beautiful historical flower of Jerusalem.

Leora said...

Fun collection of facts about carob! I remember chewing them outside Yad V'Ashem in 1980 as a snack. When I was little, we would get them in a little bag on Tu B'Shvat, and my mother would eat them. None of the kids liked 'em. Maybe the fresher ones taste better.

I love the Flowers in Israel blog. One of my favorites.

Kay said...

What fun to try something new! So did it taste like chocolate?

mommanator said...

it looks soo yummy!
very interesting facts about John and I thought he loved insects!

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Have eaten carob since very young. It has no caffeine is why it is such a wonderful source of nutrition, and delicious. You offer such love, even to the carob,
Dina! :))

Shimmy Mom said...

OOH, now I want to try some. I had a busy weekend and just got caught up on your blog today. All of your recent posts were great! I learn so much every time I come here.

Reader Wil said...

Hi Dina, thanks for your comment! It's interesting to read about the carob tree! Does it taste like chocolate? Or is that another fruit? Wonderful that you are also going to Oz. I used to know friends in Sydney but they moved to other parts of Australia and England.

Dina said...

Thanks Ichandrae, and good luck with your work.

Shalom Leora. Yes, "chewing" is right. Only today someone told me the carob should be soaked in water 24 hours before attempting to chew it. Was your mom being the "sacrificing Jewish mother" by eating them in your stead? hehe

Kay hi. No, actually it did not taste like chocolate. But there is a special blessing (Shehechiyanu) one says on eating something for the first time in the season of whatever the food is.
For a real chocolate drink, try mixing a little chocolate liqueur with cold soda water. Yum! Does anyone remember drinking a "chocolate phosphate" at the drug store counter in the old days?

Mommanator, yeah, you're right, it always says John ate locusts and honey. One of those many translation problems the Bible poses. Some think the "locules" are the carob seeds and not locust bugs. I sure hope so, for John's sake!

Petra Michelle--cool! Can you tell us more about what forms your carob-eating takes? And thanks for the feedback--sure love beats hate as an attitude for life.

Thanks Shimmy Mom. Doubt if you can find cold carob juice on sale in Utah, sorry. I enjoyed your trip to see the Declaration of Independence. My kids were born in Israel but got a Dept. of State birth certificate and American citizenship automatically, through me. I made sure to take them to Washington D.C. so they could see the heritage.

Dina said...

Wil--hello! Good to hear from you again! Are you back in The Netherlands yet or still down under? We miss your blogging.
Many say the carob tastes like chocolate. But for me, a sworn chocolate-lover, only the real thing, preferable bittersweet and Swiss, tastes like chocolate!

Rambling Woods said...

Carob as in what people eat if they can't eat chocolate. How interesting.

Dina said...

Hi Rambling Woods. Really? I never knew that. Thanks.

Meead S. said...

Carob, we have it too but I haven't ever drunk its juice. Interesting post.

Sherry said...

As usual, interesting posts, and I'm getting a sense of the fellowship and camaraderie at this camp. It is very touching.


in greek, carob is 'haroupi' - it was commonly used to make a cooling beverage but the last maker of this drink has passed away. my father said that the pod was eaten from the tree when he was young, a poor version of chocolate.

JC said...

Well, Dina, I must admit I'm one of those that was relieved to learn that the locust John was eating was not bugs. I learned this on my trip along with about half our group. Our tour guide must have thought, "you stupid Americans" but if he thought it he covered it up really well.

Kris said...

My wife wasn’t allowed to eat chocolate as a child; her mother gave her carob instead. She also told her that carob was nicer than chocolate.

Years later Jen became a chocoholic and feels that her mother cheated her with the carob, thus, she won’t allow carob in the house, that’s how much she dislikes it!

Poor carob!

fishing guy said...

Dina: What a wonderful looking plant that makes an interesting drink.

Reader Wil said...

Hi Dina! Yes I am back in the Netherlands and I am glad to see you again for I too missed my blogging friends.