Characteristics of cocoa:
- Rich in flavonoids;
- Rich in magnesium;
- Rich in potassium;
- Protects against cardiovascular diseases;
- Anti-stress role.
What is cocoa?
Cocoa identity card
- Origin: Africa, South America and Indonesia
- Season: October to March and April to June;
- Color: Dark brown;
- Flavor: Suave.
Characteristics of cocoa
During the harvest, cocoa beans are found in fruits called pods. These pods have a color which varies from yellow to orange, contain around thirty blueish cocoa beans more or less large, long or flattened depending on the variety.
Differences with nearby foods
The cocoa powder results from the grinding of the almonds of the fermented flat cocoa beans produced by the cocoa tree whereas the cocoa butter is the material which is extracted therefrom and the cocoa mass is produced from the fermented and roasted cocoa beans .
Word from the nutritionist
Cocoa has a multitude of health benefits, so do not remove it from the diet but consume it in moderation. Use unsweetened cocoa powder to make drinks and chocolate with at least 60% cocoa.
For 100g of cocoa powder:
|Vitamin B1||0.13 mg|
|Vitamin B9||30 µg|
|Vitamin E||0.4 mg|
6 benefits of cocoa: why eat it?
- Cocoa is rich in antioxidants that help fight the effects of aging.
- Rich in magnesium, cocoa will play a role in muscle relaxation, against stress and fatigue.
- Its vitamin E content ensures the proper functioning of vision and fights against the appearance of certain eye pathologies.
- The vitamin D it contains ensures the fortification of teeth and bones.
- Cocoa butter can nourish the skin and ensure its elasticity.
- Cocoa would reduce blood pressure and therefore the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Choosing the right cocoa
Use unsweetened cocoa powder and chocolates containing at least 60% cocoa.
The different varieties of cocoa
There are several varieties of cocoa trees (forastero, criollo, trinitario) whose beans are selected for their variable taste qualities depending on the variety and the place of production.
Cocoa is stored in a dry and ventilated place, protected from light.
How to cook it? How to match it?
We don’t always know it, but cocoa can be cooked both sweet and savory:
- As in Mexico, you can accompany a turkey with chocolate sauce;
- Mix with milk for a delicious hot chocolate;
- In your cream desserts and pastries.
History of food
The term “cocoa” dates from 1532. It comes from the Spanish “cacap”, borrowed from the Aztecs “cacauatl”, and designates the seed of the fruit of the cocoa tree. By extension, it also designates the powder obtained from cocoa mass, as well as the drink prepared with this powder.
Ecology and environment
Formerly, the cocoa tree was cultivated in the forests whereas at present its culture is done mainly in the open field causing a significant deforestation. This is particularly the case for tropical forests in Côte d’Ivoire.
However, there are farms in West Africa which use the concept of polyculture and storied culture. We then find on the same plot of land different species of plants of various sizes. The cocoa tree then overhangs all the other species and can thus develop and produce without constraint.