How exactly is cocoa harvested?
Pods containing cocoa beans grow from the trunk and branches of the cocoa tree. Harvesting involves removing ripe pods from the trees and opening them to extract the wet beans.
Pods are suitable for harvest for 3 to 4 weeks, after which time the beans begin to germinate. It is therefore necessary to harvest at regular intervals as the pods do not all ripen at the same time. The frequency of harvesting can have an effect on yield.
Cocoa Fun Facts:
- The fruit of the Cocoa tree grow directly from the trunk. They look like small melons, and the pulp inside contains 20 to 50 seeds or beans.
- It takes 5 years for a cocoa tree to produce its first seed pods.
- It takes about 400 beans to make a pound of chocolate.
- December 13th is National Cocoa Day.
- Chocolate has properties that combat Heart disease; thanks to flavanoids from the cocoa plant.
- The ancient tribes, of the Maya Indians, were the first to discover the wonderful enchanting properties of the cocoa bean around the year 600 AD.
- Christopher Columbus, in 1502, was thought to have brought cocoa beans to King Ferdinand, during his fourth trip from the New World.
- Cocoa was exported to Europe in 1585 but the first chocolate bar was not made until 1848.
- The first chocolate house for the United States was established in Dorchester, Massachusetts.
- Throughout the world the annual cocoa production is 3 million tons
- Length of time required for a cocoa tree to produce its first beans (pods): five years
- Watching your caffeine intake? An ounce of semi-sweet dark chocolate has only 20 milligrams on average, about the same amount as three ounces of brewed regular tea.
For some fun facts about chocolate and candy making click below
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