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South American Beans
The name “chocolate” comes from the Nahuatl word xocoatl, meaning “bitter water.” The word “cocoa” (kakawa) also appeared in the language of the Olmec civilization in about 1000 BCE. The Mayans and Aztecs cultivated cocoa beans in the 3rd century CE, and they were initially used in religious rites and ceremonies.
Cocoa, or the chocolate tree, grows in a humid tropical climate within 20 degrees of both sides of the equator. Each pod contains 30–50 seeds used as the raw material for making cocoa and chocolate. For cocoa beans to turn into proper chocolate, they need to undergo lengthy and complicated processing. If you pick the fruits of a cocoa tree from a branch and try them, you probably won’t like the bitter taste, which is not even close to the chocolate flavor you know and love. Sugar, sweeteners, milk, and other ingredients added to different sorts of chocolate only serve to disguise the bitter taste of cocoa beans.