It all Started with the Plants!
Chocolate’s journey to life starts as little flower in the tropical trees known as the Theobrama Cacao. Research shows that the first chocolate tree might have been originated from the Amazon Basin of Brazil or the Orinoco Valley of Venezuela. The Olmecs (1500-400BC) are believed to be the first consumers of chocolate as a drink and in fact the word ‘Cacao’ is taken from the word ‘Kakaw’ that was originated in the Mayan and ancient Zoque, the languages of the Olmec people.
Approximately 30ft tall and with the lifespan of around 25-30 years, a cacao tree takes almost 3-5 years to bear its first fruit. The fruit is produced in form of pods which contains around 30-40 cacao beans covered in sweet whitish pulp. A cacao tree produces around 50 pods in a year while it takes 500 or so beans to produce 1 pound of chocolate which means one cacao tree produces only 2 pounds of chocolate in a year. This shows that there are millions and billions of cacao trees planted around the world which makes it possible to meet the 7 Billion people’s chocolate needs and that is why consistent growth practices are so important.
“All I Need is Love, But A Little Chocolate Now and Then Doesn’t Hurt!” _CHARLES SCHUZZ
Cacao trees cannot be grown all over the world but only on the belts of the Equator. Precisely, it grows only 20 degrees south and 20 degrees north of the Equator. Cacao trees are grown, and cocoa is produced in the following areas varying by year and the quality of cocoa: South America, Central America, West Africa, Caribbean, and the South Pacific.
So, the question is whether one type of chocolate better than the other?
Not really. It just depends on your own taste preference. All of the chocolate is ethically sourced and grown usually on small family farms.
Most of the cacao is grown and harvested all around the year to ensure that each cacao pod is allowed to reach optimal ripeness before being picked.
The pods are then opened up by the farmers to take out the beans covered in a white and very sweet pulp.
When the beans are picked out, they are then aged covered with banana leaves for a span of three to five days. Precise aging is significant in building up the flavor attributes of every chocolate.
Once the aging is done, the beans are then spread out to dry normally in the sunlight. This helps in enhancing and improving the chocolate flavor.
After drying the beans are then sacked and ready to be shipped. When the beans arrive at the factory they need to be carefully sifted through and checked to get rid of any bad beans or debris before they are sent out for the chocolate to be prepared.
Chocolate Comes from Cacao which is a Tree. This Makes Chocolate a Plant. Chocolate is a Salad _ Anonymous