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Cacao

The Cacao tree (Theobroma cacao) is a small (4.5-7.5 m), evergreen tree of the family Sterculiaceae, native to South and Central America. Its beans are used to make cocoa.

The tree grows naturally at around 1,000 feet, needing a humid climate with regular rainfall and good soil. The seeds, usually called beans, come in a large fruit called a cacao pod, ovoid and 15-30 cm long and 8-10 cm wide. The pod holds 20 to 60 seeds in a white pulp, 300 seeds produce around 1 kg of cocoa paste. Each seed is mainly fat (40-50%, cacao butter).



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