Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Carob beans, Locust-pods, Sugar-pods, St. John's-bread, or Algaroba, the long flat pods of Ceratonia Siliqua, the only species of a genus of Leguminosae, native to the Mediterranean region. Ceratonia is a small tree with pinkish wood, and walking-sticks of it are imported from Algiers under the name Caroubier. It has shining, leathery, dark, pinnate leaves of four or six oval leaflets; sub-dioecious flowers with no corolla and only five stamens. The pods contain a quantity of saccharine pulp, besides nitrogenous matter. They were largely used for our cavalry horses in the Peninsular war, and are now extensively imported for the manufacture of cattle foods. They are eaten by children, but contain butyric acid, which is apt to become rancid, and they are also liable to mouldiness. On fermentation and distillation they yield an agreeable spirit. They are believed to be the "husks" alluded to in the parable of the prodigal son; but the locusts eaten by St. John the Baptist in the wilderness were more probably the insects so-called. The small seeds are said to be the original carat weight of jewellers.