What is cocoa?
(Grade A Cocoa), To answer the question, what is cocoa? It must be said that cocoa is one of the most consumed food items in today’s culture. In general, it can be said that by-products produced from cocoa are used in every corner of our lives, the most famous of which is chocolate.
The word cacao itself is a type of word related to the Mayan language (the old language of Mexico). The translation of this word can be considered red fruit. Although the use of cocoa dates back to several thousand years, this fruit has now become an inseparable part of our food basket.
What is a cocoa tree?
Cocoa is obtained from the seeds of the cocoa tree. This tree is usually found only in tropical regions and it cannot be cultivated in tropical or even temperate European regions. This has caused the cultivation areas of this tree to be limited to Central America and the tropics.
Cocoa beans grow in special pods. These pods are inside the fruit of the cocoa tree. These fruits are used to produce cocoa. In fact, they split them open and extract the seeds inside the desired fruits. In the continuation of the text, we will discuss the question of history of cocoa.
History of cocoa
Cacao is native to the Amazon region of South America and was first cultivated by the Maya and Aztec civilizations in Mexico and Central America more than 2,000 years ago. Its seeds were used as a form of currency and were also believed to have medicinal and spiritual properties.
Mexicans discovered four thousand years ago that cocoa powder can be obtained by drying and fermenting the seeds of the cocoa tree. At first, it was thought that cocoa has healing properties and therefore it was used to heal body wounds. After years, people of Mexico realized its nutritional properties and added it as a powder to their various drinks.
The first Europeans to encounter cacao were the Spanish conquistadors led by Hernán Cortés in the 16th century. They brought this drink to Europe; Where it became a luxury item for the rich. Over time, the production and consumption of chocolate expanded and eventually became a mass-produced consumer product. And today, cocoa is grown in many countries, the largest producers of which are: Ivory Coast, Ghana, Indonesia and Nigeria.
What does cocoa taste like?
Pure cocoa, which is obtained directly from the fruit of the cocoa tree, has a completely bitter taste. The amount of this bitterness has a direct relationship with the type of cocoa tree and its growing conditions. This means that the products of some cocoa trees have a higher percentage of bitterness and some others have a lower percentage of bitterness. In addition, today, certain eugenic trees have been produced, which have been tried to have a very low level of bitterness in their fruit.
After picking the cocoa beans, they are placed in special packages. After about seven days, the cocoa bean changes color completely and its color becomes almost brown. At this time, it is time to roast the mentioned seeds. This roasting process can have a very important effect on the taste of cocoa.
After roasting, the beans should be ground well to obtain cocoa powder. In the past, instead of using advanced devices to grind cocoa beans, they used simple tools such as a mortar. After turning cocoa beans into cocoa powder and health checks, they are placed in new packages and the export process begins.
What is the difference between chocolate and cocoa?
In general, it should be said that chocolate is a by-product of cocoa. In fact, you must have cocoa powder to make chocolate. The bitterness of chocolate depends on the bitterness of cocoa powder and its use in chocolate. For example, very little cocoa powder is used in milk chocolates that has a very sweet taste. This is despite the fact that most of dark chocolates are made of cocoa powder.
What is the difference between coffee and cocoa?
Coffee and cocoa are two different plants and their seeds are used to prepare two different drinks.
Coffee is made from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant, which is native to the tropical regions of Africa. The seeds are ground and brewed to make coffee, a popular beverage known worldwide for its caffeine content.
On the other hand, cocoa is obtained from the fermented, dried and roasted beans of the cocoa tree, which is native to the Amazon region. The seeds are harvested to make cocoa powder and chocolate. Cacao is a key ingredient in many desserts and baked goods and is known for its rich, chocolatey flavor.
In short, coffee and cocoa come from different plants, are processed differently, and have different flavors and uses.
Getting to know the benefits of cocoa
Due to the warm nature of cocoa, it can be said that this product is a normal choice to increase the body’s immunity against things like colds. According to the website webmd, many doctors believe that daily consumption of some cocoa can reduce the level of depression. Meanwhile, cocoa in different forms helps you deliver more oxygen to your respiratory system during exercise.
It is interesting to know that cocoa can even improve certain diseases such as diarrhea and constipation. The reason for this can be considered the presence of a very suitable amount of fiber in the cocoa powder. Cocoa present in things like chocolate can also help you lose weight, of course, this will be correct in the conditions that the corresponding chocolate does not have a high amount of sugar.
Cocoa improves the body’s metabolism, and as a result, you will get relief from digestive problems. Various researches have investigated the fact that the presence of substances called flavonol can help people prevent very dangerous cancers such as prostate cancer.
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