Ceratonia siliqua Linn. Leguminosae. Algaroba Bean. Carob Tree. Locust Bean. St. John's Bread.
This tree is indigenous in Spain and Algeria, the eastern part of the Mediterranean region, in Syria; and is found in Malta, the Balearic Islands, in southern Italy, in Turkey, Greece and Grecian Islands, in Asia Minor, Palestine and the north of Africa.8 It was found by Denham and Clapperton in the Kingdom of Bornu, in the center of Africa. The pods being filled with a saccharine pulp, are eaten, both green and dry and were a favorite food with the ancients; there are specimens preserved in the museum at Naples which were exhumed from a house in Pompeii. The Egyptians extracted from the husk of the pod a sort of honey, with which they preserved fruits; in Sicily, a spirit and a sirup are prepared from them in the island of Diu or Standia, the luscious pulp contained in the pod is eaten by the poor and children and is also made into a sherbet. These pods are imported into the Punjab as food for man, horses, pigs and cattle and are imported into England occasionally as a cattle food. In 1854, seeds of this tree were distributed from the United States Patent Office.