FAQ

What other members of the genus Theobroma are possible origins of cocoa-like products?

Theobroma bicolor is a species, similar to cacao, cultivated from southern Mexico to Bolivia and Brazil. It produces beans that are called pataxte. These are used to make a drink or they can be used to make a poor quality chocolate. The beans are sometimes used to adulterate true cacao produce.

Theobroma grandiflorum, known as cupuaçu in Brazil, is used to produce a drink from the mucilage around the beans.

In modern day Amazonia, the Arawete and Asurini Indians cultivate Theobroma speciosum. The Indians can make a crude, low quality chocolate from the seeds of T. speciosum, but the pulp is more generally eaten.

References:
Wood, G.A.R., Lass, R.A. Cocoa. Fourth edition. Longman, 1985
Coe, S.D., Coe, M.D., The true history of chocolate. Thames and Hudson, 1996
Dand, R., The international cocoa trade. Woodhead Publishing, 1993
Young, A.M., The chocolate tree. A natural history of cacao. Smithsonian Institution, 1994

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