There’s usually something delightful and unexpected in even the most uninspiring-looking independent London corner shop.
This week, a generous bunch of dry shallots and a box of carob. Discovered at opposite ends of the North London line. The shallots were sliced paper-thin in salads, and finely diced in a Vietnamese style dipping sauce. And yet, the bunch still appears complete.
Secondly – though less colourful, rather more exciting – carob pods. To parents of children born in the 80’s, carob was sold as ‘healthy’ chocolate; a sorry fallacy perpetrated by health food stores. The aroma prompts unhappy memories of Mars Bars That Weren’t Allowed.
Tasting again, the flavour is more suited to a grown up palate: perhaps a sweet version of beer, and olives. An earthier, and chewier dried date. Great to chew one’s way through as a sweet snack or dessert, though you need to watch out for the teeth-breakingly hard seeds. Half the pack devoured, I plan to grind and bake the remainder. Carob-tastic recipes anyone?