Where Do Cocoa Beans Come From?
We all know how delicious chocolate is, but few of us know its origins. Here’s a quick primer on the almighty cocoa bean and how it goes from plant to production.
The term “cocoa bean” is interchangeable with “cacao bean.” Cocoa beans are the source of all chocolate and cocoa, and are found in the pods of the cocoa tree. The cocoa tree is an evergreen plant, typically cultivated within 15 to 20 degrees of the equator, which makes sense since the plant requires warm and humid conditions.
Cocoa beans undergo a fermentation and drying process before being used for chocolate or cocoa production. In the course of the complex fermentation process, the cocoa bean undergoes significant changes. The sugar-containing fruit pulp, which would otherwise be difficult to dispose of, is broken down by ferments, and the heat thus produced, bringing the mass to a temperature of about 50°C, destroys the germination properties of cocoa seeds. The astringent and bitter taste diminishes, and at the same time, new substances are formed, which are precursors of the aroma components and from which the true cocoa aroma later develops during the drying and roasting operations.
Lindt cocoa beans are sourced from several South American and Caribbean countries and from Ghana, in Africa, and are hand-picked to ensure the highest quality goes into the final product. Lindt Chocolate uses an exclusive blend of superior-quality cocoa beans, from different origins, which give Lindt products their distinctive, rich taste. The exact blend of cocoa beans remains a highly guarded secret.
A note on sustainability
Lindt maintains sustainable farming practices and supports over 50,000 communities of sustainable farmers globally. To learn more, visit Lindt.ca.
So the next time you indulge in a piece of chocolate, you can now truly appreciate all the work that went into producing the extraordinary flavour.