Juana Verger, an entrepreneur who is committed to the production and distribution of the “super fruit carob”. Presented by TUI. (Video lasts 6 min 30 sec.) | Video by Nova Producciones

The chocolate-brown pods are on everyone’s lips in Mallorca. Especially in recent years, carob has experienced a renaissance. The fruits of the “garrover”, the Mallorcan name for the carob tree (Spanish: algarrobo), are increasingly finding their way into local kitchens as an authentic island product. Carob has been very important in the Mediterranean region for many centuries as food for people and animals.

Es Garrover de Mallorca in Llucmajor is a third-generation business specialising in the “super fruit” carob. The small company is run by Mallorcan Juana Verger, who now produces food from the product once used exclusively for animal feed. In order to be able to use the brown pods in a variety of ways, she created the brand “Johannis”. The idea came to Verger on a trip through Central America. All the ingredients used are of natural origin. In addition to carob flour, cream, syrup, sweet spreads, sauces, biscuits, power bars, tea, coffee and even ice cream are produced.

The flour of the fruit is especially becoming increasingly popular on the Balearic island. In this form, the carob fruit comes into its own with its typical smoky-sweet aromas. The flour is used, for example, as an additive for baking bread, biscuits and cakes. The brown powder can also be stirred or mixed into milk, yoghurt, smoothies, cocktails or ice cream as a flavour variant, similar to cocoa.

Es Garrover de Mallorca, for its part, is completely committed to sustainability and relies strictly on organically grown algarrobas. With its syrup products, the company won the Balearic award for organic food in 2017.

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The hype about carob as a “super fruit” is quite justified. The pods have many positive properties. They provide vitamins B, C and D as well as minerals such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus and magnesium. In addition, the legumes have antioxidants and protect against free radicals. Carob also helps against infections and can even stop the growth of cancer cells. Moreover, the fruit lowers cholesterol levels.

There are more than 30 different carob tree species in Mallorca alone. They are called Bugadera or Duraió. Carob trees are frugal, require very little water, do not make great demands on the soil and are also resistant to diseases. That is why they are also well suited for organic cultivation.

At Es Garrover de Mallorca, emphasis is placed on sustainable cultivation, both in the production process, which takes place on the estate, and in the management of resources. For Juana Verger, the character of a family business and sustainability are paramount. This includes taking care of the land and its surroundings, supporting local farmers on the island, creating ecological and sustainable products and working for the social integration of people with special needs.

Those who want to try the products for themselves can do so directly at the Es Garrover estate in Llucmajor (esgarroverdemallorca.com). Alternatively, the food is available in health food shops or selected supermarkets.

Cooperation with TUI

Support from the tourism industry: The project is sponsored by Europe’s leading tourism group Tui and its Tui Care Foundation. The initiative was founded in 2016 with the aim of supporting sustainable projects in destinations. The foundation focuses on the potential of the tourism sector as a driver for social development, education and prosperity. The group promotes sustainable tourism in cooperation with local people.