Do You Know? Cocoa, Chocolate-Producing Tree

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The chocolate that we often eat or drink, turns out to be from cocoa pods. Let’s get to know the tree.

  • The cocoa tree is native to Central and South America.
  • Cocoa grown in Indonesia was brought by Spanish sailors.
  • This tree can grow well in tropical countries like Indonesia. Indonesia is the third-largest cocoa-producing country in the world.
  • The tree, scientifically named Theobroma cacao, was first consumed by the Native Americans as a drink.
  • The drink that used to be only allowed to be drunk by nobles and served to the gods was bitter in taste. The scientific name Theobroma means food of the gods.
  • Sweet chocolate preparations were only made in the 1900s in Europe.
  • The cacao tree has woody stems and can grow up to tens of meters in the wild. For plantation crops, the height is about 5 to 6 meters.
  • Cocoa trees flower and bear fruit throughout the year without a specific season. The flowers appear directly on the stem. Pollination of cacao flowers is assisted by insects and usually occurs at night.
  • Cocoa pods are oval in shape with a length of about 15 to 20 cm. The unripe fruit is green or purple. The ripe fruit is yellow.
  • Inside the cocoa fruit, there are 50 to 100 beans that look like beans. Well, it’s the seeds that are processed into powder as a chocolate ingredient.
  • Substances in cocoa can be toxic to certain animals such as horses, dogs, and cats. These animals can go into convulsions and vomit when they eat cocoa.
  • Cocoa trees for plantations require shade trees planted about a year in advance. The shade tree protects the cocoa from the scorching sun.
  • Cocoa trees can be grown using seeds or the trunk.

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