O Cacau Fruita - The Cocoa BeansteemCreated with Sketch.

in TravelFeed2 months ago (edited)

O Cacau Fruita - The Cocoa Bean ou o Cacao Bean

This post is about the cocoa/cacao bean which is indigenous to the Amazon Basin. Cacao pods are the raw product used to make chocolate and cocoa in its different forms. The Aztecs and Mayans considered this pod, fruit or tree very important or sacred. Here are some cacao pods growing on a tree which I seen when I visited the Fazenda do Chocolate, near Itu, Brazil:

The fruit, or pod, is oblong, between 4 and 12 inches long, and can range in colour from yellow, orange and purple when ripe. Here's a cocoa pod that I bought:

Inside, you can find about 20-40 seeds which are located inside a juicy, sweet-sour pulp. From my point of view, the fruit or pulp tastes a little like a lychee, but not as sweet, a little bitter and quite juicy. This is what it looked like when I cut the fruit or pod open. An interesting surprise!:

It takes 7-14 pods to produce one pound of beans. According to the information I found from the source below, the flavour of the beans depends on the variety as well as the growing conditions, for example, soil temperature, sunshine, and rainfall. When the Cacao pods are ripe, they are cut open and the beans are allowed to ferment so they can be removed easier. They are prepared by drying in the sun and cocoa is the product of cacao seeds which are dried, roasted and ground into a powder. Source

Here's a close up of the seeds that I took when I cut the pod open. To me, they look like tiny dragon eggs!! 🐲:

According to the source, cacau's nutritional value is as follows:

Cacao contains theobromine, caffeine, tannins, polyphenols, nitrogen, fiber and 40-50% fatty matter. Theobromine is an alkaloid similar to caffeine but less powerful in its effect on the nervous system. Raw Cacao is thought to be one of the highest sources of antioxidants and magnesium of all foods. Source

I hope you liked my post and enjoyed looking at my photos. It was an interesting experience cutting open this fruit/pod and trying it!

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Thanks for reading.