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The Um Good Plant
Cocoa Tree
The Cocoa or Cacao (kah KOW) tree is presently grown in tropical regions of South America, Central America, Africa and Asia. The pods each contain 30-50 beans or seeds. Originally it was used by the Aztecs and Mayas to make a frothy bitter drink comprised of the ground seeds, water, chile peppers, and cornmeal. The Spaniards introduced it to Europe where sugar and cinnamon were added. For 300 years it remained an expensive import reserved for the wealthy. The French had it as a state monopoly that could only be enjoyed by royalty.
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