The Cacao Belt: The Place Where the Best Chocolate is Made
The cacao belt is a region that stretches from Central and South America all the way to Indonesia! It lies 20 degrees either side of what we know to be ‘the equator’. The cacao plants (where raw chocolate comes from), also known as Theobroma cacao, thrives in this humid environment. That is why this specific part of the world is perfect for them!
The cacao plants only grow around this cacao belt – the line of latitude also known as the Tropic of Cancer (23°26′N), and outside this region, they will not produce fruit. This means that within this strip there exists an area with soil and climatic conditions suitable to cacao production. The cacao belt was first discovered by the Spanish in 1544, and it has since become one of the most important regions for cacao production in the world. Cacao beans are harvested year-round on plantations throughout these regions; they are then processed into chocolate.
So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the amazing areas that grow this incredible abundance of cacao!
Where is the Cacao Belt?
The cacao belt is a geographical area that has ideal climates for cacao tree growth which makes it an important region for cacao production. The country we get our sustainably grown cacao from, Peru, is a great place to farm the beans because it has the perfect dry and warm climate. It falls onto the cacao belt.
The cacao belt countries are responsible for producing 70% of the world’s cacao beans. Cacao beans are used to make cacao nibs, powder and butter – and eventually, chocolate . Recently, the Peruvian government has been working closely with cacao farmers in an effort to increase production and maintain sustainability.
In South America , Ecuador produces approximately 22% of the world’s cacao beans. In addition to this, Bolivia, Colombia, and Venezuela also produce these tasty beans. Ecuador is a great country for cacao production because the soils are rich in organic material which provides good drainage – meaning better quality chocolate.
In Asia , countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam have been producing cacao since the 1960s. These countries contribute about 12% of world cacao production. Indonesia is a great cacao producing country because it has an average temperature of 26°C with humidity levels ranging from 60-90 percent – the perfect climate and conditions to grow amazing cacao beans.
Crazy About Cacao!
Cacao beans are also known as cacao seeds, and they come from cacao pods which grow on cacao trees in a region called the cacao belt. The cacao we use in our chocolate is native to South America and was first used by early civilizations such as those of Ancient Mexico, where cacao beans were used for currency. Cacao has since become one of the most popular ingredients, especially after its transformation into chocolate bars!
Cacao beans are the cacao tree’s seeds. They contain about 50 percent of fat, called cacao butter or cacao fat. The other half is mostly carbohydrates and fibre with some protein mixed in. Cacao has more phenolic antioxidants than many fruits including acai berries, blueberries and pomegranates which makes cacao an incredibly healthy superfood.
Cacao is one of the most incredible and versatile foods on earth and cacao beans are packed with nutrients that make them good for you to eat or drink.
Our Criollo cacao hails from Peru and is completely organic which means it’s grown naturally, without any pesky pesticides. So, you can feel good about enjoying your desired dose of cacao without any unwelcome additives.
Take this as your hint to seize the bean and witness the raw power of cacao!
Explore our range of organic and ethically traded Peruvian chocolate today at mrpoppleschocolate.co.uk