Warning: Carob is NOT Chocolate

Some of you might be aware that, in a fit of craziness, I started writing an occasional review of chocolate, for Chocablog.

The other day I found some Carob, and though it would be a neat idea to try it and review it.

The editor rejected me!

‘You know the rules’, he said. ‘It has to be chocolate.’

‘Well’, says I, ‘the purveyors of all things Carob claim it is a chocolate substitute, doesn’t that count?’.

‘You know the rules’, said the editor. ‘Publish it on your own blog instead.’

He’s a tough master, our editor.

So here it is.

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Us chocabloggers take our jobs (our calling) very seriously. And every now and again, in the name of science and research, some of us have to take a hit for the whole team.

And so its was, with excitement and trepidation, I found a Carob block the other day. I know, I know, Carob is not chocolate.

But Carob is touted as a chocolate substitute, it seems mainly by those with health, moral, ethical or some other objections to the Real Thing. I’ve been reliably informed that Vegans like Carob because it contains no animal products. Which is bizarre because the only animal product I know of in chocolate is milk, and dark chocolate rarely has any of that. On that the other hand, this Carob block contains “milk solids”. Go figure.

The last time I tried any Carob must be 10 or 15 years ago, and my memories of it were that it was OK but nothing special. Time and technology having moved on, I was quite looking forward to trying this.

So last night I broke open the very simple clear plastic packaging.

The first thing I noticed was the strange feel to it. The surface looks just like a light milk-chocolate, but the feel is slightly greasy / oily. Strange. Perhaps it’s the palm kernel oil that goes into it.

I suppose I should have been warned when it claims “Goodness in every bite”, because from there, things just got worse. Palm Kernal oil notwithstanding.

The mouth-feel is all wrong. There is little melting, it needs to be chewed. The feel is gritty / grainy, as though this is a fine powder suspended in something – which it probably is. The taste… well one of the reasons for trying this was the ginger. Which is there. Sort of.

The flavour, such as it is, is most unlike chocolate. By way of comparison… chocolate flavour (in general, it you let it melt) starts small, rises to a peak, and then gradually fades away. It’s a bit like a mountain. Carob, though, rises slowly and reaches a plateau. And it’s damn hard to make it go away. Eating a handful of dirt will give a similar flavour and mouth feel, but the taste will go away mercifully faster.

I’m really sorry to report that this was just awful. It was so bad I couldn’t manage the two pieces I’d tried – I had to rush off to the bathroom and spit it out, then have a big rinse, then clean teeth with lots of toothpaste. Even that could not remove the taste so a couple of squares of Cadbury Old Gold came to the rescue. Even the following morning, I still think I can taste it.

This review may offend the makers, and the lovers and defenders of Carob. Sorry. But I can’t even in desperation come close to recommend this.

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And a postscript: the neighbours say they like Carob, so we sent it in there. They swapped it for a bag of freshly dug spuds. The following day the informed us it was a lousy trade. We had to make up with a box of Ferrero Rocher.

Seriously – if you want Chocolate, eat chocolate. If you object to animal products, eat dark chocolate. But don’t eat Carob.

3 Comments

Nope it certainly ain’t chocolate. I get a bit annoyed at vegans (my brother is one), they have the moral high ground on ‘animal products’ but still managed to wear leather coats,shoes and belts!

Comment by Baino | February 15th, 2009 7:44 am | Permalink

You’re a brave man, Wally, especially being a knowledgeable chocablogger as well. I’m with you – I’d rather eat dirt than Carob.

My best mate Jill is still trying to recover from an Easter weekend nearly thirty years ago when her mother was in a Weight Watchers’ Frenzy and gave them all Sugarless Carob Easter Eggs…. Cruelty indeed.

Comment by Kath Lockett | February 16th, 2009 10:47 am | Permalink

Erk. What a horrible thing to do. Scarred for life for sure.

Comment by Wally | February 16th, 2009 6:37 pm | Permalink

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