Facts about cocoa

The cocoa tree originated in tropical South and Central America, nowadays cocoa is grown in a belt around the equator. The tree was given the species name Theobróma cacáo by Carl von Linné.

Criollo is considered the best bean. It grows in Venezuela, Equador, the Caribbean and Madagascar. It is an extremely delicate variety, difficult to grow and only about 2 percent of world production comes from that bean.

Forastrern is another, much more robust bean. More than 90 percent of world production comes from it.

Trinitario is a hybrid, a combination between Criollo and Forastrero.

Each tree produces 3-4 kilos of beans a year, and is usually harvested twice a year. All fruit is cut by hand. The beans are fermented, dried, roasted and ground to cocoa pulp. At least half of the fat is pressed out of the pulp for cocoa powder to be produced. The squeezed fat becomes cocoa butter. For chocolate, mix cocoa mass, sugar and cocoa butter and then roll. The most important step in developing good chocolate is conching (kneading). Really good chocolate is conched for several days. Then tempering is carried out, from 50 degrees to the desired consistency.

Cocoa was used in the time of the Maya and Aztecs (600 BC) as currency. Christopher Columbus tried to introduce chocolate at the Spanish court in the 16th century, but the court thought it was a tasteless soup.

At the end of the 17th century, chocolate made its entry into Sweden. The Swiss brothers Cloetta founded a factory in Malmö in 1872. Marabou started his business in Sundbyberg in 1916. Chocolate is good for heart and vessels – and maybe even for the teeth. Claude Kollin, the pediatric surgeon who is also known as the Chocolate Doctor, recommends 30-40 grams per day.


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