St. John's Bread
lammers at FMNH785.FMNH.ORG
Wed Nov 15 14:12:20 CST 1995
Stuart Fullerton's post on entomophagy included mention of St. John the
Baptist's Bread, presumably baked with with locusts of the insect sort.
With apologies to every little Sunday School attendee who was ever
grossed out by the New Testament account of the Baptist surviving in
the wilderness on locusts, it should be pointed out that these were
locusts of the botanical sort, specifically the seeds of Ceratonia
siliqua of the Caesalpinaceae (a legume segregate), what we call carob.
In other words, St. John ate beans not orthopters. In fairness, the
name was applied to the tree because the beans resemble the insect.
At least two North American leguminous trees, Robinia pseudoacacia and
Gleditsia triacanthos, have picked up this name, being known as black
locust and honey locust, respectively.
Department of Botany
Field Museum of Natural History
lammers at fmnh.org
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