Cacao pods from tree to the mouth... eating the white gooey stuff surrounding the seeds... at Eladio Pop's
Cocoa pods start off green and turn bright yellow when they are ripe and ready to be picked. As well as growing on branches, the pods sprout from the trunk of the tree itself, which looks quite strange!
It usually takes between 3-5 years for a cocoa tree to mature and to produce cocoa pods. The cocoa pods have the all-important cocoa beans inside them.
It usually takes about 6 months for a fruit or pod to be ripe. The pod is ripe when the beans are loose and the pod will rattle when shaken. When the fruit is opened, these are the parts that can be seen:
1. On the outside is the thick coat or husk. This coat may have deep grooves in it or shallow grooves. It may also have a lumpy surface with a warty appearance. It may be soft or hard and woody.
2. The large seeds or “beans” are in the centre of the pod. Each pod may have 20 to 60 seeds in it.
3. All around the seeds and between the seeds and the outside husk is a mass of white soft pulp that is sweet and delicious to the taste.
Photographs by Marty Casado
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