Cacao and Cocoa—What’s the Difference?

Feb 16 '15

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Cacao and Cocoa—What’s the Difference?

70% Cacao. Made with Cocoa Powder. Phrases like these, containing the words cacao and cocoa, are often seen on chocolate products worldwide. Similar in spelling, I started to wonder what the difference was between the two words. At first, I thought, maybe, they were the exactly same thing. Perhaps the difference may be just a preference of spelling, like when those in the U.K. spell color as colour and defense as defence. However, after a bit of investigation, I discovered this was not the case.

While, in essence, the words cacao and cocoa both refer to the bean that is one of the most important ingredients in chocolate, the use of each word depends on whether or not the bean has been processed. Let me explain. When the bean is growing on a tree somewhere in Africa or South America, and is harvested, we refer to it as cacao. However, after the cacao bean has been fermented, dried, cleaned, and roasted, it has then been fully processed, and is therefore called cocoa.

Hopefully, for the curious chocolate connoisseurs out there, this has cleared up any confusion about the two words, so you can feel free to relax and enjoy your delicious chocolaty experience.


Article Written by

Scott Reade Mauritzen

Amor Chocolate Fountains

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