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cacao pod
April 7, 2005
6:42 pm
marioh
Bonn, Germany
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I was able to buy a cacao pod yesterday. I never though I would get one of these fantastic fruits.
But I do not know what I could or should do with it. I thought about cutting it open and taste the fruit flesh or conserve it in any way, but I don not know how. Can I taste the inside and dry the rest? Or should I do anything else? I really would like to taste the fruit flesh, because it’s called to be very delicious. But on the other hand I would be happy if I can conserve it and have a look at it later, because it’s really hard to get such a fruit.
Can anyone help me?

April 7, 2005
8:46 pm
chocolatero
london
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it is very hard to get indeed
You can either gently dry it by keeping it in a ventilated room
not in sun and not too high temp. rotate it once or twice a day so it does not rot in 1 area. it becomes black and progressively (1month) dries out (the flesh inside will dry and the beans will become loose)
Other option: open and try; you can still then dry the 2 halves in the same way BUT they won't fit together any more as they will shrink in different ways.
YOu can also speed the drying by "oven" dry it at low temp.
Hope this helps. We normally get a couple of hundred fresh from Cameroun for the chocolate week in London, usually in October.
Chocolatero

April 9, 2005
2:43 pm
alex_h
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mario, nice meeting you in munich. and much thanks for finding the cocoa pods here! i just cut the one i bought yesterday open and tried the beans. i would say you're not missing anything if you don't try these specific beans. so don't feel bad if you decide to not cut open your pod.

April 9, 2005
8:03 pm
marioh
Bonn, Germany
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You are right. I really enjoyed your meeting. It’s nice to meet people how are just as crazy about chocolate as you are yourself.
Thanks for the note about the pod. I just feel that I won’t open the pod and let it dry instead. “Chocolate and more” has some dried pods in their store. They look quite dark brown but I will just try.
By the way, you were so enthusiastic about the Carenero superior, so that I just had to buy two squares before I left Munich to taste it. I had a Carenero superior before, but that was an original vintage (with added vanilla and lecithin), so I will just see how this one is.

April 9, 2005
8:17 pm
legodude
Norway
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You can see a picture of a cacao pod I bought in London in october 2004. I kept it in my living room and it dried within a month, I think.

http://www.paraply.org/havard/.....-greia-mi/

Use this link to my blogg. It is in norwegian, but the picture is quite understandeble in most languages. [8D]

"I`ve got lots of friends in San José. Do you know the way to San José?"
April 9, 2005
8:24 pm
legodude
Norway
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What is this Carenero Superior you are talking about? El rey?

"I`ve got lots of friends in San José. Do you know the way to San José?"
April 9, 2005
8:54 pm
alex_h
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well i hope u like the carenero, mario. imo it tastes much better than the version with vanilla and lecithin. that's domori's carenero, lego. nice pic btw :D are u there in any of the photos?

i think the pods we bought are forastero, maybe even pentagona (if that was the name). the beans are purple and if i recall correctly that's a sign of forastero. if u eat them without the white pulp they are definitively NOT aromatic in the sense of flavor cacao. more blech than yummy.
the beans really look interesting at this stage. now i can better understand what cotyledon means.

well, now all i have to do is ferment them, dry them, clean them, conche them and temper the whole mess to get a chocolate that probably... no one would want to eat :P

April 9, 2005
10:20 pm
marioh
Bonn, Germany
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I forgot do do this:
Thanks Chocolatero for your post
and
thanks legodude for the picture.

I’m not sure whether this is a pentagona. I think that’s a quite rare cacao species (if I remember the article in Maricel Presillas book right). But I’m sure about that purple colour. Franzoni told in the film, that this is a sign of forastero. So I believe is just any common forastero from Columbia (the origin was written on the price label). But finally I’m not an expert when it comes to classify a cacao pod, as this one is the first I have ever held in my own hands. Somehow I just can’t believe that I had the chance to buy this pod, I always believed that I have to travel to somewhere at the equator to see such a fruit. So I’m just happy.
I would be happy if you just make a note when you have completed the chocolate production [:D]

April 9, 2005
11:00 pm
ellie
london, United Kingdom
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So, how did you come by the pod? Was it sold as curiosity at some chocolate shop? The only fresh ones i've came across been in the wild. Seen some over here, dry and shrank much more than one at Legodude pic, at Marcolini shop, as a display. May be different type, or much older.

April 9, 2005
11:19 pm
Martin Christy
London, United Kingdom
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I have a lovely criollo here from Madagascar, brought over by the Malagasy people. (The others mentioned above are forestero). Will try to photograph tomorrow and post somewhere.

Martin Christy
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http://www.seventypercent.com

Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
April 9, 2005
11:36 pm
ellie
london, United Kingdom
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Martin, do they all look different? I mean would one tell which is criollo or forestero, if one not RHS member? Just have an idea for a sculpture, doing a reserch right now and collecting all the visuals. Done some drawings in Grenada, but different aim now..

April 10, 2005
12:08 pm
marioh
Bonn, Germany
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I bought the pod in the Galeria Kaufhof. That’s a department store. They had an exotic fruit market in their food department.

April 10, 2005
12:22 pm
Martin Christy
London, United Kingdom
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Ah, I have shopped in Galeria Kaufhof in Stuttgart, they have a very good range usually.

Martin Christy
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Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
April 10, 2005
12:24 pm
Martin Christy
London, United Kingdom
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Criollos tend to be long and knobbled, foresteros smoother and rounder. That is a sweeping generalisation though and there are many exceptions - Porcelana (like porcelain) being just one.

Martin Christy
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http://www.seventypercent.com

Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
April 10, 2005
12:25 pm
ellie
london, United Kingdom
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I see, thanx. Wondering if they sold out quickly - the shop wouldn't suggest they are edible, wud they?..

April 10, 2005
4:40 pm
alex_h
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the sale was a limited-time exotic fruits market at the kaufhof. when i got there there were only two pods left and i bought one. maybe they had some more somewhere.
selling them with other edibles suggests that. but i didn't really look around to see much of what else was on offer. mario tried something that went down a bit strange if i remember correctly. what was that, mario?
i'm sure the staff does not really know what is exactly edible, how to eat it or when to tell whether the stuff is ripe or not though.

April 10, 2005
8:41 pm
marioh
Bonn, Germany
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Just do not ask me how it is called in English, but we call it Jackfrucht. It’s a bit green fruit with lots of little prickles. It’s tasting great and a friend of mine had no problems eating it.
I’m sure that this fruit market was really a limited sale. They normally do not sell cacao pods. I think it was just a gag (especially because the stuff do not knew what it was, as I wanted to pay for it).

April 10, 2005
9:01 pm
legodude
Norway
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Alex, I am not on any of the pictures. I was behind the camera when they were taken.[;)]

"I`ve got lots of friends in San José. Do you know the way to San José?"
April 10, 2005
9:07 pm
Martin Christy
London, United Kingdom
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I had this problem with spaghetti squash in Harvey Nicholls - the staff had no idea what it was, how to cook it, how much it costs and where it came from! No matter how many people they brought out, they had no idea! I had to give them a training session in it ... (How off topic is that!)

Martin Christy
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Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
April 11, 2005
3:09 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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How much do these places charge for cacao pods?

I have had similar experiences as well, with other produce such as plantains and even sweet potatoes. People simply don't know the difference between sweet potatoes and yams (yams are not found in the US), and the differences between plantains and bananas. I often find myself educating people at the produce section too, but it's fun [:D]

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