Cocoa is an evergreen tropical tree, usually 5 to 8m tall. The flowers are small, yellowish white to pale pink and grow directly from the trunk. In the wild, cocoa flowers are pollinated by midges, which, when pollinated, develop into green coca pods that enlarge and ripen through yellow to brown.
Place of origin
Cocoa is native to Mexico, Central America and northern South America (Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Brazil, Guyana, Surinam and French Guiana).
Did you know?
The edible properties of cocoa were discovered over 2,000 years ago by the local people of Central America living deep in the tropical rainforests, and chocolate was seen in Mexico by Christopher Colombus in 1502.The scientific name Theobroma cacao was given to the species by the botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1753, when he published it in his famous book Species Plantarum. Theobroma means “food of the gods” in Latin, and cacao is derived from the Nahuatl (Aztec language) word xocolatl, from xococ (bitter) and atl (water).