Cocoa… a close encounter of the third kind!

Beeing fascinated by chocolate, one naturally gets interested in the source of this wonderful product aswell. To us Western people, chocolate is well-known. The cocoa beans, pods and the tree itself are as illusive as pixie dust. No one really knows them.

Slowly I’m starting to get a view on the wonderful world of cocoa production and I’ve seen some pods in real life, but I never expected to see the real deal in real life, simply cause one has to travel to the equator in order to find them.

To my surprise, I stumbled upon one recently, during a trip in the Rouen area in France. Biotropica in Val De Reuil seemed a perfect destination to entertain the kids on a grey afternoon. This vast greenhouse houses a large collection of tropical animal life and lots of tropical plant species. And there she was. A tree catching my immediate attention. A small, green pod growing on its stem. Little flowers surrounded the pod. What a great sight. The Theobroma Cacao tree.

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Many people will pass this plant without noticing. But not me, as it is the source of such great taste experience. The very beginning of chocolate. Just a little encounter that made my day even more magical. And I smiled as we continued our tour…

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