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Page 19

Cacao Fermentation Process

A stylized transverse section of an ideal cocoa farm. After Toxopeus (9).

A stylized transverse section of an ideal cocoa farm. After Toxopeus (9).

months from pollination to ripeness; when ripe, the seeds are embedded in a sweet mucilaginous pulp comprised mainly of sugars and when dried are the cocoa beans of commerce (see Fig. 2.5).

When the pods are opened, the sweet pulp rapidly breaks down and the conditions under which this happens have a major influence on the flavour of the chocolate from these beans. This process is called fermentation, though it is not a

Greet Toxopeus

An open Amelonado pod from West Africa. Source: Toxopeus (9).

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