From Cocoa Bean To Chocolate
Cocoa is the product of the fruit of the cocoa tree (lat. Theobroma cacao), which requires a hot, wet climate, a mean shade temperature of 27°C, and well-distributed rainfall. This is why it can only be grown in regions within 20º latitude of the Equator.Although the cocoa tree is indigenous to Latin America, Africa today accounts for 70% of the world’s cocoa bean production. Cocoa farming is mostly manual, requiring significant expertise and most cocoa in Africa is grown on small family farms of 2-5 hectares. Next to the Ivory Coast and Ghana, other major cocoa producing countries are Nigeria, Cameroon, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Ecuador, Brazil and Colombia.
History Of Chocolate
Ever since the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés introduced the drink “chocoatl” from Mexico to Europe in 1519, Europeans have been the main consumers, producers, developers and proponents of all things chocolate. Since then, chocolate has become one of the most active ingredients to shape European palates and cuisine.
Even 500 years later, Europe and North America account for nearly three quarters of total World consumption, with Europe alone consuming nearly 50% of all chocolate production. Through much of its history, chocolate has been a “foreign” and largely unattainable luxury item in much of the remaining world. But this trend has finally changed course.