tonka bean (tŏng´kə), black-skinned, aromatic, almondlike single seed from the pod of any tall leguminous tree of the genus Dipteryx in the family Leguminosae (pulse family) of tropical South America. It contains coumarin, a fermented substance that has a vanillalike aroma and is used as a vanilla substitute and in the manufacture of perfumes, sachets, soaps, tobacco, and food. Natural coumarin has been almost completely replaced by a synthetic product. The name of the bean also appears as tonqua bean and tonquin bean. Plants producing tonka beans are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Rosales, family Leguminosae.
Tonka ★★½ A Horse Named Comanche 1958
A children's story about a wild horse tamed by a young Indian, only to have it recruited for the Battle of Little Bighorn. Mineo is fine as the Indian brave deter mined to be reunited with his steed. The film also makes a laudable effort to portray the Indians as a dignified race. The movie, however, stumbles at its conclusion and is contrived throughout. 97m/C VHS . Sal Mineo, Phil Carey, Jerome Courtland; D: Lewis R. Foster.