ExoticFruitsUK Cacao

Cacao

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Introduction

Cacao (Theobroma cacao) is a small evergreen tree native to the tropical areas of Mesoamerica. Cacao tree produces seeds known as cocoa beans which are used in order to produce chocolate, cocoa solids, cocoa butter and chocolate liquor.   

History

Cacao was first domesticated in Mesoamerica. It is believed that Olmecs domesticated cacao approximately 4,000 years ago in the area of Mexico but other evidence suggests that Mayans domesticated it about 5,000 years ago in the area of Ecuador. Evidence also suggests that cacao was also domesticated in Honduras approximately 3,500 years ago. Cacao was introduced in Europe, West Indies and the Philippines by Spaniards and later Europeans introduced it in Asia and West Africa.     

Regions

Cacao is a very important commodity and nowadays it is cultured in Ivory Coast, Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Brazil, and Ecuador to name a few.  

Flavours & Texture

Cocoa beans are processed in order to produce chocolate and other cacao products. Cacao nibs which are crumbled, raw cacao beans dense and crunchy have fruity notes and a strong bitter aftertaste similar to espresso beans.

Preparation

You can use cacao nibs in order to make chocolate drink, in your smoothies or you can add them onto your morning bowl of oatmeal. Additionally, you can use cacao nibs in many savory dishes in order to add extra flavour. 

Nutritional Value

Cacao powder is an excellent source of protein and fiber and it is generally regarded as a healthy option. 

Calories per two tablespoons 

130 kcal

Fat

6 g

Carbohydrate

13 g

Fiber

8 g

Protein

7 g