FROM THE SEED TO THE POD
From Cacao to Chocolate - As part of our 'Notes from Latin America', we will be featuring the many steps that it takes to obtain República del Cacao high quality chocolate. Discover the first step that is planting - from the seed to the flower to the pod.
A cacao pod germinates really fast, and three to four day after planting, a first radicle appears with some small horizontal leaves. This turns into the first and unique trunk of the tree. It then obtains a first "crown" with 3 to 4 branches, and with time a second one higher, and a third one even higher…up to 4 or 5 crowns! The cacao tree is totally developed around its 15 to 25 years old.
Plants start flowering and bearing fruits until 3 to 4 years after the sowing. The bloom is a really important process to obtain a high quality cacao. The cacao tree can flower at any time of the year and produces annually several thousands of flowers when only a dozen fruits develop!
After flowering, the fertilized flowers turn into mature pods, the cacao fruit develops in 5 to 7 months. These pods can weight from 200 grams to one kilo and contain around 30 to 40 seeds. In Ecuador, the fine Cacao Arriba pods are yellow.
Discover more about República del Cacao processes from Plantations to Collection Center in Ecuador: