How Much is It Worth Carats Weight Measured in Carob Seeds
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How Much is It Worth Carats Weight Measured in Carob Seeds

"24 Carat Gold" is the purest gold, but where does the word "carat" come from?

Origin of the Word 'Carat' in Terms of Weight of Diamonds, Gems, and in the Purity of Gold

The Carob is a species of flowering evergreen, related to the pea. Carob is a species of flowering evergreen, a member of the pea family. Most members of the Carob family are dioeious (having separate male and female plants) and require other members of the same species in order to reproduce. Traditionally grown for their edible fruit, the seed pods are sometimes called “St. John’s Bread.”

In Ancient Egypt the Carob was used as a sweetener. Juices were made from the Carob and drunk for traditional holidays in several cultures, such as Islamic month of Ramadan. The Bible tells that John the Baptist ate ‘locusts and wild honey” but it is believed that the translation from Greek may have been referring to the beans of the carob also called 'locust' and not to the grasshopper-like insect.

These ‘little breads’ are found to have been eaten by a number of cultures in history, often during times of famine and frugality. The carob tree is drought resistant and therefore would still endure when other crops were failing for lack of rain.

Carob bush, Locust Beans

(image source)

Uses for Carob Seeds (Locust Beans)

Carob provided a source of sugar before sugar beets and sugarcane was cultivate and used. Carob seeds (also called locust beans) when is a good substitute for chocolate in baking. It is used in cakes, cookies and other bakery confections requiring chocolate. Locust bean gum is used as a thickening agent in a variety of processed foods too extensive to list, ranging from cottages cheese, condiments, to bakery goods. Carob is even shown to be an effective anti-diarrheal agent in formulas made for infants.

Carob Seeds used as a Standard of Weight

Carob seeds are fairly uniform in weight and in Roman times were used as a Standard of Measure, and are the origin of the word “carat” in use with the purity of gold. A particular Roman coin called a “solidus” had a weight of 24 carob seeds and thus, was the origin of “24 carat” gold purity. By extension then, a gold object that was only 50% gold was considered to half as much, 12-carat, and so forth.

Carat is also the unit by which gems are weighed, a practice used in the Middle East. In modern times the practice of using carob beans as a unit of measure for gemstone grading was standardized to represent 0.02 grams.

It is not that dogs need or have any desire for chocolate-flavored treats, but Carob can be used in dog treats safely. Chocolate is toxic to dogs due to the theobromine content found in cacao (the source of chocolate) as well as the tea plant, kola nut and acai palm berry.

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Comments (2)

Very interesting article!

great article it was very informative