In my opinion, chocolate is the ultimate elixir. Chocolate gives me immediate comfort from an unpleasant circumstance, such as an argument with my partner, an unexpected repair expense, or a bad hair day. Many of us are so captivated by chocolate that it is practically addicting.
So, where do cocoa beans grow?
Cacao beans are found in South American Theobroma cacao plants, which are east of the Andes. The most often occurring of the 22 species of Theobroma is the T. cacao. According to researchers, Mayans have been consuming cacao with no signs of stopping for at least two millennia. The Aztecs, too, placed a high value on beans.
It is possible for cacao trees to survive for 100 years, but their productive lifespan is after 60 years. The cocoa tree produces a long, deep taproot when started from a cocoa tree seed. Chocolate is a substance made from cocoa beans that grow in the tropics, mainly near the equator. As red, green, and purple cocoa pods mature, they become yellow.
Unlike cherries or peaches, Cocoa pods do not mature all at once and may be picked regularly. To prevent harm to the tree’s stem, the harvest must be done manually, and care for the cocoa pods must be taken not to damage the joint connecting the stem to the tree.
The cocoa tree is native to the upper Amazon basin (Brazil, Colombia, and Peru). The global cacao crop is now growing by around 40-50 million farmers who cultivate the crop in more than 50 countries globally. 90% of the world’s cocoa is produced; on more enormous commercial plantations, just 5% is grown. Cacao is the primary source of income for most of these farmers. The benefits of sustainable agricultural methods and fair trade chocolate have increased, and we must promote them more than before.