Check out these 21 facts about cacao trees and chocolate!

  1. It takes about 5 years for cacao trees to produce their first fruit, called cacao pods.
  2. The cacao tree grows to be about 30 feet tall bearing white flowers and colorful fruit.
  3. The pollination process of the flowers of the cacao tree is done by flies, not bees.
  4. Cacao pods have a hard shell and is usually red, yellow, or orange.
  5. It takes cacao pods about 4-5 months to grow and several weeks to ripe.
  6. Pods are harvested by being cut with a sharp blade. The beans are extracted and then go through fermentation and drying processes.
  7. Each pod holds roughly 40 to 50 cacao beans.
  8. It takes about 400 cacao beans to make one pound of chocolate.
  9. The beans take about 5 days to ferment in specialized boxes and 1-2 weeks to sun dry.
  10. Generally, candy bars have less than 10 milligrams of caffeine, but the darker the candy, the higher the caffeine.
  11. Europeans account for almost half the world’s consumption of the candy about 24 pounds a year, according to the International Cocoa Organization.
  12. Cadbury made the first chocolate bar in the world in 1842.
  13. Thorntons created the world’s largest candy bar to celebrate their 100th birthday. It weighed 12,770 pounds.
  14. The Chocolate Chip Cookie inventor sold the idea to Nestle Toll House for a lifetime supply of chocolate.
  15. In 1941, M&Ms were created so soldiers could enjoy chocolate without it melting.
  16. The white variety doesn’t contain cocoa solids or cocoa liquor, which means it’s not technically chocolate. It contains cocoa butter instead.
  17. It is believed ancient Mayans are believed to be the first people to regularly grow cacao trees and drink chocolate.
  18. About 3 million tons of cocoa is produced worldwide each year.
  19. The cacao tree requires humidity, good soil drainage, and regular rainfall.
  20. The top cacao production countries include Ivory Coast, Indonesia, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico.
  21. The average American consumes about 12 lbs. per year.

Want more Agriculture Facts? Click here

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get your weekly dose of Ag Facts.

 


Sources: 
Just Fun Facts
Mobile Cuisine
Chocolate.org
EHChocolatier

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someonePrint this page