So if you're like me, then you either like, love, really love, LOVE, REALLY LOVE or REALLY REALLY LOOOOOOOOOOVE chocolate. But did you know chocolate has a dark secret? Here's today's Bolivia fact of the week.
The Cacao Tree
In the Northeastern region of Bolivia in a state called Beni, grows "wild" chocolate. The truth of chocolate is that it's not made in a factory. Well some of it is, but most of it from Snickers all the way to the well known Hershey's chocolate comes from the cacao tree. The Cacao trees are ancient plants with twisted trunks that are knuckled and pock-marked from old harvests. They produce ripe pods every year between November and March. Image Source
Hey it's March now so this might be your last chance to see the fruit until next year! Come on over to Bolivia. Many people even start their day with a hot cup of it. I had a hot cup of it every day in a restaurant in Tarija when I vacationed there, so I know 100% you MUST taste it.
To get to these forests, first get to Bolivia, and then to Beni. From there no plane can take you any further, you going to need boats, canoes, trucks, jeeps or a motorbike. The chocolate is inside the football-shaped pods that grow in the trees. Image Source.
Here's a great video on how chocolate is made:
The seeds (or beans) of the cacao fruit are toasted until they are a dark brown. Then they are ground into a powder, and sometimes made into a brown paste. And that, chocolate powder, is what is used to make the cocoa we drink or chocolate candies that we eat. Image Source.
So now you know that chocolate secretly originates in trees. I wonder if that makes it technically a fruit, meaning technically it's good to eat. I don't know, maybe tell your new found knowledge to someone and get some chocolate.
Now here's a question. Now that you know chocolate is a fruit and nutritious, will you eat it or never look at it again?
Video source: https://youtu.be/V-4FsJ6-bzc
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