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Splitting a Cacao Pod | by Lall
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Splitting a Cacao Pod

While cacao exportation to Europe began as early as 1585, the first chocolate bar was not made until 1848.


A few interesting chemical facts about cacao:


(i) Cacao beans contain the caffeine-like purine alkaloid, theobromine, a mild stimulant that naturally imparts that distinct bitter cocoa flavor.


(ii) Roasting ground cacao seeds yields chocolate. Chocolate is said to contain the phenylethylamine, a natural amphetamine found in the human brain, which induces a feeling of euphoria.


(iii) Cacao's fatty oil, when clarified, gives rise to a pure white compound, almost as hard as beewax, and is used in many pharmaceutical preparations.


At the Spice Tour in Zanzibar, Tanzania

East Africa

November 2005

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Taken on November 9, 2005