The Theobroma Cacao or the food from the Gods is what you all know as the cocoa tree. Its origin can be traced on America's rainforests, specifically in Central America. But historians are still debating about certain facts about this tree.
There are arguments that the Mayans first grew such tree in 300 AD. And the Aztecs had their turn in cultivating such in 1100 AD. The chocolate that you all know now used to be called Xocolat. This was a special beverage that was made out of chilies, anise seed, vanilla, cornmeal and some more spices. Only royalties get to be treated with such delight at the time. It was served using golden cups that were to be used only once.
Save the Chocolates
The cocoa tree is sensitive to its surroundings. It will most likely grow in the shades of the canopy of the rainforest. For this reason, chocolate lovers must unite in the goal of saving the environment, especially in saving the rainforests where the cacaos will most likely survive.
This tree is unique in the sense that its fruits grow on its branches and trunk. The reason for this is because of midges. These are the tiny insects that cause the pollination process during nighttime.
Did you know that the cacao tree can have approximately 10,000 blossoms but only about 10 to 50 of those will mature into fruits or the pod? This is because like an intelligent human being, the tree of cacao can regulate its blossoms to the amount that it can handle and grow.
The cacao tree self regulates in this process to be able to sustain its good health. It knows what it can contain and handle. It knows just how many is enough and too much. The tree does this to preserve its internal systems and to prevent its branches from breaking or falling apart.
The cocoa beans come from the fruit or the pod from the intelligent tree. Harvesters wait for the pod to ripen. They will handpick the trees and crack up the pods until they see white pulpy elements that surround the seeds. The pulps are then trashed while the seeds are kept because those are your cocoa beans, the source of your chocolate treats.
These seeds are actually bitter during such time. For this reason, these will go through the fermentation process for about three to seven days. This method will cause the seeds to go through some chemical as well as physical changes. The result of this will then be used for the royalties' treat, the Xocolat.
The beans need to go through several procedures after which before it can be used for the traditional making chocolate purposes. Now that you know where it came from, you'll never look at your favorite chocolate the same way ever again. Or probably not. Whatever it has been through, chocolates will remain a favorite among children and child at heart.