The largest producer of cacao beans is the Ivory Coast;
other prominent producers include Brazil, Malaysia, Indonesia, Ghana, and
Nigeria. The trees are sensitive to, among other factors, sunlight,
temperature, and rainfall, and they do not begin to bear until 5 or 6
years after they are planted.
The three varieties of beans most important for
chocolate-making are criollo,
forastero and trinitario.
The quality of chocolate varies depending on the quality of
the beans, how they are handled and which and if additives are used.
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