From cacao to chocolate : a whole process

Homme cueillant des fruits de cacao jaune

Bean, cocoa and chocolate. Sounds familiar ? Several forms obtained at a different stage but so much appreciated for its unique flavour. We appreciate the bean and cocoa for their bitter taste or we choose the chocolate that is sweeter.

Discover in this article everything you need to know about cocoa, that intense flavour that goes so well with our breakfasts.

Person splitting fruit

Cocoa is the result of a process that takes place in several steps. It all starts with the fruit of the cocoa tree, which is called the pod. This is the fruit that contains the famous cocoa beans. There are several varieties of cocoa beans. Something to satisfy every taste.

The criollo variety comes from Mexico and is rather rare because it is difficult to cultivate. There is also the forastero in the chocolate that we use a lot in our kitchens to make cakes, pastries, drinks... This variety comes from Amazonia and was already used by the Mayas thousands of years ago. The taste is more bitter and acidic compared to the Criollo whose bitterness is more subtle. Finally, the trinitario is a cross between the first 2 varieties. Like the Criollo, this hybrid cocoa variety has more fruity notes.

Person holding dried beans

How is cocoa powder made?

The pod grows on the cocoa tree. It is a small tree that measures about ten metres. It needs shade to grow and lives in a humid environment.

After 5 months, the pods are ripe and can be harvested. The harvesting period varies according to the location. Then comes the shelling where the beans in the pods are removed. Once extracted, the beans will go through the fermentation stage which lasts 2 to 7 days. This will release their flavour. 2 days later, they will be roasted. After that they are ground to obtain this famous cocoa powder.

The cocoa bean, a bomb of nutrients in its purest form

The bean is more interesting than chocolate because it has not been exposed to high temperatures and therefore keeps all its benefits. It is particularly rich in antioxidants thanks to the polyphenols it contains, which acts against cellular ageing. It is also a good source of magnesium to fight against tiredness and stress.

Note that, unlike chocolate, the bean does not contain sugar. In fact, it is this sugar that makes chocolate less bitter and more delicious.

So which one would you be tempted by ? Rather cocoa powder, cocoa beans or chocolate ?

Here is a selection of our products that contains the form of cocoa you prefer.

Photos: courtesy of @unsplash