Cocoa – The Chocolate Tree

Cocoa (Theobroma cacao) grows on a small evergreen tree that reaches up to 13-26 feet and  is native to the forests of Central and South America.  Being a tropical crop, Cocoa is mainly grown in the western ghats region of Kerala.

Cacao seeds are the fruit of the cacao tree which is used to make cocoa paste, the source of real chocolate. Once the tree reaches maturity, fruit pods will sprout from its trunk and branches, turning yellow to orange in color when ripe. Each pod weighs about 500 g  and contains between 20 to 60 cocoa seeds.

After a fermentation process, cacao seeds are removed from the fruit. When dried they are ready to be cleaned, graded, packed, and shipped for processing into chocolate products.

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