About Cacao Beans
The cacao or coco bean, as it is commonly known, grows on the cacao tree which is native to Central and South America. A cacao fruit or pod consists of a rind that is about 3 cm thick and has a leathery rind that is rough. It is sweet in taste and has a pulp that houses roughly about 50 seeds that are pale lavender or white in color. The seeds of the cacao fruit are quite soft.
The cacao bean can be considered to be a completely fermented and dried form of Theobroma Cacao. These fatty seeds are used to make cocoa butter and cocoa solids and form the basis for chocolate, along with several Mesoamerican food items like tejate, mole sauce, etc.
History of Cacao
The tree is thought to have originated in the Orinoco basin in the South American continent and in the foothills of the Andes mountain range. Wild cacao is still cultivated to this day, although reports of its very first cultivation date back to 1500 B.C in Central America. Prior to the Spanish conquest in the Mesoamerica region, the cacao bean was generally used as a currency.
Today, the Netherlands produces the largest amount of cacao beans in the world. Ghana, Indonesia, Cameroon, Brazil, Nigeria, Cote d’lvoire, Malaysia, Dominican Republic, and Ecuador are among the other countries that produce the largest amounts of cacao beans globally.
Cacao Health Benefits
• Adding cacao beans in your diet helps in removing toxins from your body.
• Healthy diets with sufficient amount of cacao aid weight loss.
• Cacao is a powerful antidepressant.
• Cacao is also well known for preventing cardiovascular disease.
• The fruit of the plant is believed to be a great aphrodisiac.