- Cacao comes from the Nahuatl word cacahuatl that comes from the Maya kakaw, which means red and strong fruit.
- In Greek it means “food of the gods.”
Cacao is a tree, whose fruit contains the pods from which chocolate is made.
The cacaotero is a tropical tree. Sprouting on the trunk and on the main branches of the tree, its fruit is referred to as a mazorca (ear, as in an ear of corn) or piña de cacao (pineapple) of cacao.
The Mayas used cacao as a currency. For them the drink prepared from cacao was a ritual beverage.
It is rich in minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron, and calcium, as well as a source of protein and carbohydrates. Cacao is also recognized for its medicinal properties. It is said to stimulate the central nervous system.
Given its importance in the culture, tradition, economy, and gastronomy in Mexico, cacao is a product that continues to occupy an important place in the Mexican diet. Therefore, it is commonly used to make bars or tablets of chocolate, especially for the preparation of hot water- or milk-based beverages. It is one of the ingredients that gives mole sauce its distinctive flavor.
- Mexico’s participation totals 1.7 percent in the international cacao producing market.
- Mexico is the eighth largest producer of cacao in the world.
- Three countries are the leading buyers of Mexican cacao: Switzerland, Belgium, and France.
- The Ivory Coast is the country that produces the most cacao worldwide.
- 700 grams is the average cacao consumption per person in Mexico per year.