The Tree
Definitions of terms

Common European term for organic farming.

Bittersweet Chocolate
Bars which fall in the the middle ground between candy and Chocolate, 25% to 50% Cacao content.

(also Kakao) From Mayan Cacau
  1. The plant and seeds that produce Chocolate.
  2. Chocolate in it's natural form,
  3. The pure processed product before additives are combined with it to form Chocolate, or candy.

Cacao Liquor
Cacao Mass.

Cacao Mass
The creamy paste resulting from grounding the roasted Cacao beans.

Cacao Paste
Cacao Mass after extra Cocoa Butter has been added and it has cooled.

From Aztec Xocoatl, via Spanish and then French.
  1. Product of the seeds of the tree Theobroma cacao L.
  2. A narcotic, native to Venezuela, used by the Mayas and Aztecs and widely exploited by the 18th Century Spanish Empire.
  3. A tempered version of the Aztec Xocoatl which is now added to many confections.

Chocolate Mountains
A Mountain Range in the southeastern Southern California desert; there is a large military practice range there. As far as i know they have nothing whatsoever to do with Cacao.

Chocolate War; The
  1. The European Union Food Standards 'discussion' within the EU in the mid 1990s about how to define Chocolate, resulting in no minimum Cacao level, but labeled percentages on all bars. The result was an explosion the market for high percentage pure Chocolate bars.
  2. A war of conquest in pre-Colombian Yucatan (Mexico).

The main stem of the Cacao tree with Pods and fans of leaves budding off.

A further Anglicization of Cacao caused by a spelling error, probably by 18th century English traders. Now generally used to refer to the product (a powder) of the Dutch Process which removes all of the fat.

Cocoa Beans
Roasted, fermented seeds from the fruit pods of the Cacao Tree.

Cocoa Butter
The fat pressed out of pure Cacao paste. The paste is about 55% fat. Has a melting point at human body temperature, is edible and nutritious which presents many industrial uses. Is added to pure Cacao Paste to create bar Chocolate.

Cocoa Powder
The results of Dutch processing where the creamy Cacao Mass is pressed into Cakes to remove all of the Cocoa butter (fat), and then ground into a powdered Chocolate flavor.

The original Venezuelan cultivar of Theobroma cacao accounting for 5% to 10% of all commercial Cacao. Produces very fine grade Chocolate with a full, complex flavor.

Dark Chocolate
Chocolate bars above 50% chocolate content.

Dutch Process
Producing a powder with no Cocoa Butter by pressing the pure Cacao Paste at very high pressure to produce a fat free powder. Developed in the Spanish Netherlands (now Belgium & Holland) in the mid 18th century. Although usually connected with Holland, i believe it is really Belgian.

Fair Trade
A method of production and asset management which assures that the people who grow the raw product are treated well and fairly compensated. Very important with Chocolate due to widespread problems with slavery on Cacao plantations.

Food of The Gods
Romantic term coined by Europeans for Cacao and often incorrectly attributed to the Aztecs. The origin of the genus name Theobroma.

The most common cultivar of Theobroma cacao accounting for 80% to 90% of all commercial Cacao. Makes low quality Chocolate with poor flavor.

Hot Chocolate
Originally, ground Cacao beans in almost boiling water. Now it refers Cocoa Powder powder in milk. In practice it is also used to refer to confections which contain far more sugar that Chocolate.

European. see Cacao

Like Water for Chocolate
The water to create the Aztec Chocolate beverage must be be extremely hot for the mixture to work, and from that came this phrase, still used in Mexico, to mean as hot as anything you can imagine.

Milk Chocolate
Candy made from numerous ingredients, primarily sugar and vanilla which includes less than 30% Cacao. Generally Cacao is the third or fourth ingredient. (Some Fine Chocolate Manufacturers are making a 60% milk chocolate where the milk replaces the sugar instead of replacing the chocolate.)

A method of agriculture which respects the health of the land, the farmer and the consumer. Avoids all added chemicals including pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Also works with an ecosystem (such as a tropical rainforest) instead of against it.

The large (about 40 cm) fruits of the Cacao Tree containing seeds which are processed into Chocolate. Green while growing, the Pods turn yellow, red or even purple when ripe.

Pure Chocolate
European name for bars with greater than 65% Cacao content and no additives.

One of about 30 to 70 small (3 cm x 1.5 cm) purple seeds in each Cacao fruit pod.

Theobroma cacao L.
A rainforest tree, native to native to Venezuela now grown in the tropics worldwide, whose seeds are produced into Chocolate.

A cultivar of Theobroma cacao accounting for 10% to 15% of all commercial Cacao. A hybrid of Crillo & Forastero grown primarily in the Caribbean. Produces very fine grade Chocolate with a spicy, complex flavor. Becoming more popular of late.

[top of the Definitions page], Return to Selection Bar.