Scientifically Sweet: Cocoa Trees in Trinidad

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cocoa Trees in Trinidad

The last thing you heard from me was a smart comment about how it was snowing at home and I was on my way to the Caribbean.

Well....karma came back full force because it was snowing when I arrived!

If you didn't guess where I was, you probably know now.

I went to Trinidad & Tobago. They're a couple of islands in the Caribbean off the coast of Venezuela. The food is incredibly flavourful and it uses influences from Creole, Indian and Chinese cuisines.

To sum up my trip, I ate a lot.

I went to about 5 different beachs, drank about 12 litres of coconut water, swam, snorkled, ate some more, drank some rum, visited a cocoa farm, drank some beer, ate again, slept, and ate some more. You'll notice there was a lot of eating and drinking and not a whole lot of sleeping. Wild.

One of the highlights of the trip was visiting the cocoa farm that belongs to a family friend who we call Uncle Julius. I always dreamt of being in the presence of Theobroma cacao - aka the Cocoa Tree.

These trees are exquisite! The cocoa pods grow all over the place - you can even find some growing from the trunk, only a few inches from the ground. As they mature, they take on some stunning vibrant colours, from maroon to orange and yellow!

When you split open the cocoa pod, you see what looks like giant corn kernels covered in white pulp. These are the cocoa beans. You can actually suck on this pulp - it tastes sweet and has a flavour similar to mangosteen.

I loved it.

Theses cocoa beans are dried before Uncle Julius ships them off to chocolate manufacturers where they are made into chocolate bars. You can find out more about how chocolate is made here.

Underneath the shell of the cocoa bean is the cocoa nib and that is what chocolate is made of. You can eat them - they are intensely chocolatey.

I ate this one. It was delicious.

You're probably craving chocolate right now.

Maybe a big bar of the dark stuff, or a thick fudgy brownie. How about chocolate ice cream smothered in hot fudge or a warm molten chocolate cake?

This is mean. I apologize.

For more torturous food photos from Trinidad & Tobago, check back in a couple of days!

Pin It


  1. Oh yes you are mean! Those photos made me bite my screen! LOL!

  2. How interesting..i love this post, and your photos are so amazing!!!

  3. Ok I am craving chocolate and the beach!!! Your photos are amazing! Glad you had a great trip :-)

  4. i love this! i loved learning about the science of chocolate in pastry school and it's great to see photo evidence of the process. thanks!

  5. Yup! Cocoa is NOT an animal product. The only animals byproducts are those we add to chocolate. It is amazingly how many people do not know this though.

  6. Gorgeous! The first time I saw cocoa pods I was blown away. I'd be jealous but I'm heading to the beach on Saturday!

  7. Amazing! I've heard about it, but I've never seen pictures. And you're right, I am craving chocolate now!

  8. I want chocolate, stat! I may know a lot about Long Island tree care, but practically nothing about cocoa trees. Thanks for the fun post.

  9. Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work. Joel's Pro Tree Service

  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Subscribe via email