Cacao Pods on the Plant

Cacao Pod

From a tree, T. cacao, that is fairly short. rarely exceeding twenty-five feet high and producing clusters of fruit on the branches and on its trunk

The word Chocolate comes from the Aztec word "xocolatl" meaning "bitter water" is the edible product of the tropical cocoa bean, cacao (means "food of the gods")

Cacao played important role in Mayan, Toltec, and Aztec culture. Cacoa beans were used both as food and form of payment.

Some scholars say Columbus brought cacao beans back to Spain, but it wasn't until Hernan Cortes returned to Spain in 1527 or 1528 with usage tips from the Aztecs (as in how to mix it with other ingredients to make a beverage) that it found any real use in Europe.

Knowledge remained in Spain for about 100 years before spreading through Europe then moved into Africa around 1822. Currently the largest cacao producing countries are Africa (larger quantities, for industrial uses) and South America (higher quality) originally consumed in the form of a beverage; first chocolate "bar" in 1847 in England.

Different types available include: unsweetened, bittersweet, dark, milk, and white; also cocoa products such as cocoa powder 

ID Chart ] Acerola ] Agave ] Avocado ] Babaco ] Banana ] [ Cacao:Chocolate ] Calamondin ] Carambola ] Carob ] Cashew Apple ] Cherimoya ] Coconut ] Dates ] Durian ] Fig ] Guavas ] Jackfruit ] Kiwi ] Loquat ] Lychee ] Mamey ] Mangba ] Mango ] Mangosteen ] Olive ] Papaya ] Passionfruit ] Pineapple ] Pitanga ] Pomegranate ] Pomelo ] Prickly Pear ] Quince ] Rambutan ] Sapodilla ] Sweet Tamarind ] Tamarillo ] Ugli Fruit ] Umbu ] Water Chestnuts ] Waterapple ] White Sapote ] Tropical Fruit Seasons ]

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