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Alfarroba
Carob tree
This article is based on an article Carob Tree from the open encyclopedia Wikipedia under the GNU license for free documentation
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St. John' s Bread: pods

Alfarroba - John s Bred or Carob

Carob or St. John' s Bread, fruits of the carob tree

The Carob tree (from Arabic: "kharoub"), Ceratonia siliqua, is a member of the legume subfamily . It is an evergreen shrub or tree native to the Mediterranean region, cultivated for its edible seed pods. Also known as St John's Bread, the flesh of the pods tastes somewhat similar to sweetened cocoa. Mixed with saturated fats like butter fat or palm oil, it is often used to make a cake or sweet confection, considered chocolate-like by some, that is usually referred to simply as "carob."

This tree grows up to 10 m high. The crown is broad and semi-spherical, supported by a thick trunk, brown rough bark and sturdy branches. Leaves are 10–20 cm long, alternate, pinnate, and may or may not have a terminal leaflet. The flowers are a green-tinted red, small, numerous, and about 6–12 mm long. The fruit is a pod which can be elongated, compressed, straight or curved, and thickened at the sutures.

Carob is not a staple food in the Mediterranean, but provides good sustenance during times when other crops are scarce and is a traditional feed for livestock. It is most commonly put in cakes, icing, and sometimes cookies. The seeds themselves, also known as locust bean, are used as animal feed and to extract locust bean gum, a thickening agent.
Description:
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae
Genus: Ceratonia
Species: Ceratonia siliqua

Branch with leaves and blossom.
Details about fruit, seed and bloom
Source: Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé
" Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz " 1885, Gera, Germany

 
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