The cocoa tree where it grows
There is no person who in his life never tasted chocolate. The chocolate is made from cocoa. Therefore it is also called “Chocolate tree”.
Because the seeds of this tree are used in the food industry in the form of powder.
This evergreen tree belongs to the family Malvaceae, the dicotyledonous class. The scientific name comes from the ancient Greek language Theobroma, which translates as “Food of the Gods”. Probably this tree truly lives up to its name.
The benefits and harms cacao is known for a given, so in Europe, chocolate has become widely popular since the seventeenth century. But in its homeland it is used over 3500 years.
In our day chocolate bars, hot drink, chips, truffles and nutritious paste made from cocoa the best-selling products. You can find chocolate with a taste of malt, vanilla, caramel, with various additives in the form of nuts and raisins. Cocoa butter is used in cosmetics, confectionery and medicine. The word cacao is the basis of Aztec origin kakahuatl, with roots from the words of the Olmec and Maya.
In our days the cultivated tree grows in tropical areas of Africa, America and Oceania. In the wild cocoa trees are almost gone. Africa now supplies 69 % of the total produced cocoa in the world. One of the largest suppliers of cocoa on the world market, Ghana. In Accra. the capital city of Ghana, Africa’s largest market for cocoa beans.
The cocoa tree is high enough, there are instances of up to 15 meters, but the average height of a fruitful tree of 6 meters, this facilitates harvesting. Trunk straight, up to 30 cm in diameter with a yellowish wood and brown bark. Crown is wide and thick. Leaves oblong-elliptic, thin, entire, alternate, evergreen, up to 40 cm long and 15 cm wide with short stalks.
The branches and leaves grow on the Sunny side, but cocoa does not like direct sunlight. So the trees grow better in mixed plantings with avocado, bananas, mangoes, coconuts, rubber trees. The tree is very delicate and requires careful maintenance, is afraid of many diseases and require manual harvesting.
Fruiting tree all year round. The first flowers and fruits appear in 5-6 years, and continue to bear fruit for 30-80 years. Small pinkish-white flowers in bundles grow directly from larger branches and tree bark. The pollination occurs not by bees and lice-louse. The fruits hang on the tree trunks. The fruit resembles an elongated melon, pumpkin or large cucumber. Fully Matures within 4 months. Fruits have 30 cm long, 5-20 cm in diameter with 10 grooves and 300-600 g weight, which gives 30-50 beans. Shell Bob coriaceous, thick yellow, red or orange. The Bob length 2-2,5 cm and 1.5 cm in diameter. Harvested 2 times a year. Most beans give the trees after 12 years. But the first harvest is considered the most qualitative.
Collect ripe fruit with machetes or knives on long poles. The fruits are cut into 2 or 4 parts. Manually from the pulp pull out the seeds. On banana leaves, special pallets or closed boxes dry within 2-9 days for the fermentation of the fruit. If the beans are dried in the sun, then cocoa will be sweet, bitter and astringent taste that is valued less than that, get from drying in a closed form.
The seeds have an oily taste, brownish-purple color and a pleasant smell. Sorted seeds are cleaned, roasted and separated from the parchment shell, crushed and passed through a few screens to get a quality powder. Fried crushed stretching until thick mass, which on cooling gives dark chocolate. When you add to this mix the vanilla, sugar, milk powder and various additives get chocolate that is put on sale. Parchment envelope from beans is used as fertilizer.
The use of cocoa for people is invaluable, so apart from being a delicious product, also has medicinal properties. It contains proteins, fiber, gum, alkaloids, theobromine, fat, starch, colorant. Theobromine has tonic properties, so it is successfully used in medicine. It is scientifically proven that the theobromine can be successfully treated diseases of the throat and larynx, upper respiratory tract, fever. Cocoa revitalizes and refreshes force, has a calming effect on people. It normalizes the heart and is used for the prevention of diseases such as myocardial infarction and stroke. Cocoa butter is used to treat hemorrhoids.
But keep in mind that cocoa is, and contraindications, it can cause harm. So cocoa is harmful to consume the high acidity of the stomach, constipation, diabetes, atherosclerosis, diseases of the liver and kidneys. Cocoa can not give to children under 3 years. It is not advisable as the cocoa drink of the night. But nevertheless, chocolate is the favorite food of people of all countries. That’s the kind of “record” the chocolate bar in Armenia made in 2010. It is made from cocoa beans imported from Ghana. Its length 5.6 m, width 2.75 m, height 25 cm and weighs almost 4.5 tons. This chocolate bar was doing 4 days.
In Russia cacao trees can grow only in greenhouses and conservatories at a temperature of 21 to 28°C. it Propagated by cuttings and seeds. Distributed mainly 2 kinds of beans “Criollo” and “Forastero” “Criollo” has a special flavor and high quality beans. “Forastero” has a strawberry taste. Of these two varieties is selectively established grade of “Trinitarian” which is now also quite common among lovers of exotic plants.