Where does cocoa come from?

Cocoa or cocoa bean is the dried and fermented fatty seed of Theobroma cacao. Cocoa solids and cocoa butter are extracted from cacao and are the basis of chocolate.

Cocoa can be found in the common drink, hot chocolate, in which the cocoa is in powder form. The dry powder is made by grinding cocoa seeds, and by removing the cocoa butter from dark, bitter, cocoa solids.

The cocoa plant comes in three varieties: Forastero, Criollo, and Trinitario. Forastero is the most commonly used, making up 95 per cent of the world’s cocoa production. However, Criollo cocoa plants are the highest quality, and are considered a delicacy.

Criollo plants are weaker than Forastero plants, and are also less resistant to diseases that attack cocoa plants. As a result of this, many countries have chosen to no longer produce it.  Of those who still do, Venezuela is one of the largest producers of Criollo beans.

The third variety of cocoa, Trinitario, is a hybrid between Forastero and Criollo.

As we all know, chocolate consumption is quite high in the world we live in. It’s imported and exported any and everywhere. The United States has the highest amount of cocoa powder imports, with a large amount of cocoa complementary products. The United Kingdom is the highest in the retail of chocolate, and is one of the world’s leading chocolate consumption markets.

Aside from just in chocolate, cocoa products are used worldwide. From 2008 to 2009, 3.54 million tonnes of cocoa beans were produced.

Chocolate and cocoa contain a high level of flavonoids including epicatechin, which has shown to benefit cardiovascular health. The best and most beneficial is cocoa in raw form, and/or in dark chocolate. Foods containing cocoa are said to reduce blood pressure, too.

Many of Tofutti’s frozen dessert products include and make use of cocoa butter, cocoa powder, or a combination of both. When combining both the butter and the powder, Tofutti creates a delicious chocolate liqueur.

 It’s hard to deny yourself the heavenly taste of chocolate, and Tofutti completely understands the need for a delicious treat, especially when your diet is limited.