It’s nearly Easter so here are some delicious facts about Cocoa 🙂
Carl von Linne (Swedish Botanist) gave the Cocoa tree the name Theobroma Cacao, this transalates as “drink of the gods”. The Greek word theos (gods) and broma (drink) make up the name and reflect the Mayan belief that the cocoa tree belonged to the gods.
Cocoa tree grows in tropical rainforest in the shade of bigger trees and thrive in warm humid climates. The trees can grow up to 15 metres in height, but are usually kept shorter so the pods can be accessed easily. The pods change colour during the ripening process, they are oval shaped, pointed at both ends and about 20cm long. They contain between 20-40 beans.
Check out the other interesting facts below (taken from www.worldcocoafoundation.org) :
- Number of cocoa farmers, worldwide: 5-6 million
- Number of people who depend upon cocoa for their livelihood, worldwide: 40-50 million
- Annual cocoa production, worldwide: 3 million tons
- Annual increase in demand for cocoa: 3 percent per year, for the past 100 years
- Current global market value of annual cocoa crop: $5.1 billion
- Cocoa growing regions: Africa, Asia, Central America, South America (all within 20 degrees of the equator)
- Percentage of cocoa that comes from West Africa: 70 percent
- Length of time required for a cocoa tree to produce its first beans (pods): five years
- Duration of “peak growing period” for the average cocoa tree: 10 years