The cacao tree is native to the Amazon rainforest. It was first domesticated 5,300 years ago, in equatorial South America, before being introduced in Central America.
Cocoa powder is made from cocoa beans, which come from the plant Theobroma cacao L. Cocoa beans are the primary ingredient in chocolate, but they can also be ground into cocoa powder. The powder provides many potential health benefits.
Grenada grows almost entirely Trinitario cocoa with a few Forasteros. It is somewhat mysterious how the same varieties of cocoa come out so different in different places. Grenada has clearly one of the strongest, richest cocoas in the world partially due to the super-rich volcanic soil here and the hot sun.
The three main varieties of cocoa plant are Forastero, Criollo, and Trinitario. The first is the most widely used, comprising 80–90% of the world production of cocoa. Cocoa beans of the Criollo variety are rarer and considered a delicacy. Criollo also tends to be less resistant to several diseases that attack the cocoa plant, hence very few countries still produce it. One of the largest producers of Criollo beans is Venezuela (Chuao and Porcelana). Trinitario (from Trinidad) is a hybrid between Criollo and Forastero varieties. It is considered to be of much higher quality than Forastero, has higher yields, and is more resistant to disease than Criollo.
Representing only 5% of all cocoa beans grown as of 2008, Criollo is the rarest and most expensive cocoa on the market, and is native to Central America, the Caribbean islands (Grenada) and the northern tier of South American states. The genetic purity of cocoas sold today as Criollo is disputed, as most populations have been exposed to the genetic influence of other varieties.
Criollo is particularly difficult to grow, as they are vulnerable to a variety of environmental threats and produce low yields of cocoa per tree. The flavor of Criollo is described as delicate yet complex, low in classic chocolate flavor, but rich in "secondary" notes of long duration.
The most commonly grown bean is Forastero, a large group of wild and cultivated cocoas, most likely native to the Amazon Basin. The African cocoa crop is entirely made up of Forastero. They are significantly hardier and of higher yield than Criollo. The source of most chocolate marketed, Forastero cocoas are typically strong in classic "chocolate" flavor, but have a short duration and are unsupported by secondary flavors, producing "quite bland" chocolate. Forastero is particularly tannic and is therefore more astringent and bitter than the other varieties of cocoa.
The fastest growing export markets for Cocoa Beans from Grenada between 2020 and 2021 were France ($667k), Switzerland ($157k), and Gabon ($95k).
Notable Health Benefits:
Cocoa powder provides tons of benefits, especially if your powder is at least 72% cocoa. Here’s a look at some of the health benefits of cocoa powder:
Research suggests that adding more cocoa powder to your diet helps to improve your attention, working memory, and general cognition. It may also restore cognitive performance in people with sleep loss.
Stronger Immune System
Lessened Side Effects of RadiationTherapy
Consuming cocoa powder can be helpful if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer and undergo radiation therapy. The selenium in cocoa power has been shown to limit the negative side effects of radiotherapy in people with cancer.
Better Muscle and Nerve Function
Magnesium is important for regulating muscle contraction and helping with nerve function. The mineral also helps protect nerve cells and reduce the risk of neurological disorders. Cocoa powder contains magnesium, which means consuming it can help with maintaining healthy muscle and nervous system functioning.
Chocolate made with 90% cocoa contains plenty of zinc, a mineral that is useful for healing wounds.
Lower Risk of Heart Disease
Flavonols, a type of flavonoid found in dark chocolate, help to protect you from heart disease by lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow, and preventing cell damage. Cocoa powder also contains polyphenols, antioxidants that help to improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Cocoa powder is rich in theobromine, which helps to reduce inflammation and can protect you from diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Weight Loss and Control
Cocoa it’s considered a superfood! Cocoa powder is a good source of magnesium, iron, and potassium. It has a bitter taste because it’s not sweetened, but it’s delicious when mixed with other ingredients!
Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls
Ice Creams and many more desserts.....
There's something about cocoa: no matter what time of day, it always sounds like a good idea to enjoy this tasty, nutrient-dense superfood. You may remember that cocoa is a top superfood for truly incredible reasons: rich in vital minerals, boosts cognitive health and it's full of anti-aging antioxidants. But cocoa is also a real hero in the kitchen as a healthy, delicious way to consume chocolate in many different ways.
Disclaimer: These statements herein have not been reviewed by the FDA and owned. Pure Traditional Farms products are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any diseases. We are not medical experts and are not held accountable for the misuse from all our products sold, with a healthy diet and your doctors support, please be guided accordingly.