cacao or cocoa (Theobroma cacao)

  • The cacao plant (theobroma cacao) is a small tropical evergreen tree.
  • The fruit of this tree is a pod known as a cacao pod.
  • Inside the cacao pod is a white pulp containing about 20 to 60 seeds. These are known as cacao beans.
  • The cacao beans contain about 40% to 50% fat. This fat can be extracted and is known as cacao butter.
  • When dried the cacao bean has a paper thin shell. This thin shell can be removed to reveal the cacao nibs. The cacao nibs are raw chocolate.
  • Cacao nibs can be ground down to create cacao powder. This is also know as raw chocolate powder.
  • Chocolate is made from cacao beans, cacao butter, cacao nibs or cacao powder in various ways and with various added ingredients. Raw chocolate confectionary and drinks are made without the use of heat in any of the processing.
cacao butter

cacao butter

cacao nibs

cacao nibs

cacao powder (raw chocolate powder)

cacao powder (raw chocolate powder)