Santa Lúcia Arboretum - Santarém - Pará - Brasil
Colors of cacao leaves
Early morning sun lights up cacao (Theobroma cacao) leaves at the Tapajós National Forest.
Ripe cacao fruit, ready for eating. It's the pulp around the seed that we eat, not the seed. Chocolate is made from the seed, after it's dried, toasted and ground into a powder. Pass the sugar, please.
The cacao shown in the previous post is the commercial variety of the chocolate tree, Theobroma cacao. The one above this text is the wild variety of cacao, Theobroma speciosum. I took this picture next to an area of forest that had been destroyed for the purpose of planting corn, beans and rice. We have these chocolate trees on the Bosque Santa Lúcia property too, but the monkeys have eaten up the fruit. As a matter of fact, the local name for the tree is "cacao de macaco", monkey's cacao.
Wild Cacao, continued
This is another wild cacao on the same tree shown in the previous post. It's completely ripe and will probably be eaten up by animals very soon.