Cacao Bean

Cacao Bean. The oval seed that is embedded in the elliptical pod or fruit of the cacao or chocolate tree. Each pod contains 20 to 40 such seeds or beans. After harvest, the pods undergo fermention (q.v.) for several days during which the beans acquire a reddish-brown color and a sharp fragrance. The beans are then either sun-dried or kiln-dried to a moisture content of 6-7%. Subsequent roasting develops their dark colors and typical chocolate (q.v.) flavors.