Grow Your Own Chocolate ?
Why Not ?
Last week I wrote a blog about Vanilla and where it comes from. I thought, "why not write a blog about its companion--Chocolate " ? Both Vanilla and Chocolate are tropical plants originally from the equatorial regions, now grown in many countries far from their home countries. Chocolate is an interesting tree in an unusual family, the Sterculiaceae, which contains both ornamental flowering and economical trees, including Cola, from whence comes some popular soft drinks.
Chocolate comes from a small tree, often called cacao. This is an interesting paradox, since the species of the commercial plant is Theobroma cacao, and is both the common name of the plant as well as the products produced from the fruit. I can imagine how "cocoa" came about from "cacao". The tree is unremarkable when looking at it, with a rather scraggly appearance, tiny flowers, and strongly veined deep green parchment-like leaves. The pods are about the size of a large mango, and are often colored red or orange.
courtesy of Montoso Gardens
|Chocolate Tree foliage|
|The finished product !|
Courtesy of Callebaut Chocolates