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What’s the next best thing you never ate?
Carob molasses. I know what you are thinking, but it’s not that weird health food chocolate substitute that made trail mixes depressing. Carob molasses is something completely different and worth seeking out. We’ve even put the molasses in baskets on Chopped. You get carob molasses from cooking the fruit of the carob pod with water, then straining and reducing it down to a crazy delicious syrup. It’s a Middle Eastern product, so if you want it, head to your nearest Middle Eastern market or look online.
There is something chocolatey in the flavor, as well as something fruity, and certainly what I would call a molasses profile. I’ve even heard about people using it as syrup for pancakes and waffles. It would also be great and surprising on vanilla ice cream, with beef, roasted Brussels sprouts or cauliflower.
The first time I used it was with chicken, and then a week later with venison. I combined a big hit of carob molasses with some pomegranate molasses, soy sauce, Worcestershire and dry sherry. For the last 5 minutes of cooking, I brushed the glaze all over the meat.
My wife and I are hooked, and even my kids (3 and 6) loved it.
The staff of Food Network Kitchens see (and taste and smell) ingredients and products just before they make themselves known to the national palate. Sometimes one of our on-air chefs brings them into our kitchen, sometimes we find them during restaurant dinners or in grocery stores, at home and away. Each month we’re sharing one with you, along with tips or recipes. And we know that many of you devote a good amount of time to exploring, tasting or simply getting dinner on the table, so let us know what you find that might just be the next best thing we never ate.