The Besparmak Mountains are swarming with carob trees and the sweet thick syrup which Turkish Cypriots extract from the pods are exceptionally tasty.
By grinding the black carob pods into powder, it is then boiled in water into a reduction – a dark black molasses is produced, namely harnup pekmez(carob molasses).
Whereas Carob syrup can be found in most health food stores globally, the Turkish Cypriot version of pekmez can only be found in local supermarkets.
Pekmez is used in soups and stews, spread on bread, poured over ice cream, mixed with yoghurt or trickled over pastry and fruit. At traditional restaurants, you will find mouth-watering desserts made of pekmez, such as gullurikya.
In villages such as Tatlisu and Ozankoy which hold annual Carob Festivals, a sweet fermented drink is also brewed with pekmez, drank ice cold.
Cypriots believe that a teaspoon a day of pekmez keep colds and flu away!
The fruit of this tree contain vitamins A, B, B2, B3 and D, as well as zinc, useful for both children and adults suffering from anaemia.
Harnup Pekmez is also believed to show positive effects in treating impotence and infertility.