Carob molasses… source of livelihood and preservation of ancestors’ heritage

Lattakia, SANA- Carob is an evergreen tree that lives naturally in the Mediterranean basin and from it a sweet-tasting drink which is called carob molasses is extracted.

In some coastal areas, people used to store it to be used in some kinds of foods for its wide therapeutic benefits.

As a popular heritage, women in the Syrian countryside are keen to produce it manually by simple tools.

The hand-made carob molasses industry is active at this time of the year because it is a flowering period, according to the head of Department of Rural Women Development in Lattakia Directorate of Agriculture, Rabab Wardah.

She said that this industry is considered an important source of income that helps support some of the producing families in the villages of the Syrian Coast.

Wardah told SANA that the 12 to 15 meters high carob tree is a wild evergreen forest tree that spreads widely in the Syrian countryside.

The tree blooms for the first time after about 6 years, and the flowering period extends from September to November, she said, pointing out that it is characterized by its ability to withstand drought, cold and wind and live in rugged rocky lands.

Regarding the method of making carob molasses, Wafaa Bobo, from Mashqita village, indicated that she picks the fruits, grinds them up, and soaks them in water for 24 hours or more, then is drained and boiled over a fire for a long time until it becomes a sticky, black liquid similar to honey.

Ayda Ahmad, who is presenting her products at the Rural Women Center, indicated that the carob molasses industry is still manual and the machine has not been used. It is a natural heritage product of delicious taste that does not contain any preservatives.

Ahmad continued that she uses ripe fruits in preparing molasses because they contain natural sugar, and she prepares and puts it in packages for sale in the halls of rural women.

The specialist in the digestive system, Dr. Adel Al-Kaser considered carob molasses as one of the important sources of energy needed by the human body as it was used in the past as one of the types of analgesic treatments.

Carob also contains a sugary substance of the high quality, which is the same as that found in natural honey and fruits and is completely free of processed materials or fats in addition to being a stimulant for blood circulation.

Regarding its benefits to the respiratory system, Dr. Rami Salloum, an ear-nose-throat specialist, said that one of the most important characteristics of carob molasses is that it reduces acute coughing and expands the bronchial.

He added that Carob molasses is also useful in cases of shortness of breath, helps the body’s resistance to allergic infections, it is an antiseptic for the mouth and gives it a refreshing and pleasant smell as used to clean teeth and gums softening and revitalization.

Carob molasses contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B3 and D, and important minerals such as potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, copper, nickel, magnesium, and others.

Nisreen Othman/ Gh.A.Hassoun

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