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Fresh cocoa bean pods

Fresh cocoa bean pods
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  • Fresh cocoa bean pods

    Post #1 - April 29th, 2022, 12:48 pm
    Post #1 - April 29th, 2022, 12:48 pm Post #1 - April 29th, 2022, 12:48 pm
    I was at the Pete's Market by my house today, and spied these fresh cocoa bean pods for $5.99/lb.:

    Image

    What could I do with them? Pete's is always good for the random produce that seems like it fell off a truck to show up every so often for a week and then disappear forever, but I am curious if there's anything I can do with this. I've seen how chocolate is made and ... it's a process.
  • Post #2 - April 29th, 2022, 1:24 pm
    Post #2 - April 29th, 2022, 1:24 pm Post #2 - April 29th, 2022, 1:24 pm
    If you see Sigourney Weaver or Paul Reiser anywhere in the vicinity, just run.
    Trust me.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #3 - April 29th, 2022, 3:34 pm
    Post #3 - April 29th, 2022, 3:34 pm Post #3 - April 29th, 2022, 3:34 pm
    The flesh around the seeds is supposed to be delicious, but does not keep well at all -- it ferments quite quickly. That fermentation is part of the processing of the seeds, but is not necessary to enjoy the seeds, according to this article
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #4 - April 29th, 2022, 4:09 pm
    Post #4 - April 29th, 2022, 4:09 pm Post #4 - April 29th, 2022, 4:09 pm
    Thanks. Sounds interesting. Going to have to go back and buy some just for the experience.
  • Post #5 - April 30th, 2022, 10:40 am
    Post #5 - April 30th, 2022, 10:40 am Post #5 - April 30th, 2022, 10:40 am
    Which Pete's were these spotted at ???
  • Post #6 - May 1st, 2022, 3:07 pm
    Post #6 - May 1st, 2022, 3:07 pm Post #6 - May 1st, 2022, 3:07 pm
    This was at the Pete's on 43rd and Pulaski. Darn it -- I was there this morning and forgot to check for the cocoa fruit, so I can't tell you whether it's still there or not.
  • Post #7 - May 1st, 2022, 4:57 pm
    Post #7 - May 1st, 2022, 4:57 pm Post #7 - May 1st, 2022, 4:57 pm
    No worries. I'm around the hood . Easy to check.Thx. I'll let you know what I find.
  • Post #8 - May 1st, 2022, 5:25 pm
    Post #8 - May 1st, 2022, 5:25 pm Post #8 - May 1st, 2022, 5:25 pm
    They do have (now) three left as I just picked one up.
  • Post #9 - May 1st, 2022, 6:57 pm
    Post #9 - May 1st, 2022, 6:57 pm Post #9 - May 1st, 2022, 6:57 pm
    As noted above, I bought one of the pods. I came home, looked at a couple of videos that really didn't tell me much other than "beware the cacao bean pod and the bitterness within" but assured me that pretty much everything within is edible in its raw state.

    One of my daughters and I opened up the pod to find the nested rows of slimy cacao bean pods within. We both gave it a smell ... unripe banana came to mind. Both of us popped a pod in our mouths. "So many fruits!" the 6-year-old says. "Pineapple! Banana!" I chime in with "mango!" "Yeah!" and she giggles. The flesh was sweet and sour with pan-tropical fruit flavors. I wouldn't call it "amazing" so much as pleasantly interesting, but a bit of a pain in the ass for such little reward. There's not too much of this mucilaginous flesh on each pod, and not much of it wants to come off as you suck the bean in your mouth.

    Having explored the extent of the fleshy part, I decided to just bite into the bean, bitterness warnings be damned. And ... well, first, I was expecting a crunchy texture and snap of a shell of something, but it was like biting into a half-cooked bean: both mealy and gritty but no danger of damaging dental work. My first impression was actually, again, that of a bean: earthy, nutty, dark. A little bitterness kicked in as I chewed, but not all that much. As I continued chewing, it grew somewhat, and the half-developed impression of dark chocolate started coming into focus. I actually liked the bean itself fine. Perhaps my cacao fruit was atypical, but I enjoyed the contrast of the sweet, fruity, bright outside with the somewhat bitter, dark, nutty bean. I enjoyed it enough I ate about eight more.

    Is it something I need to buy again? If I do, it'll be to show the kids how chocolate is made, and use it for fermentation. It's certainly not cost effective, but it would be a fun project.
  • Post #10 - May 2nd, 2022, 11:01 am
    Post #10 - May 2nd, 2022, 11:01 am Post #10 - May 2nd, 2022, 11:01 am
    Now down to two as I grabbed one this morning. Tasting to occur shortly. Thx again. Maybe ???
  • Post #11 - May 5th, 2022, 3:30 pm
    Post #11 - May 5th, 2022, 3:30 pm Post #11 - May 5th, 2022, 3:30 pm
    i was behind a woman in the checkout line yesterday at the fresh farms on touhy. she had 1 large cacao bean in her cart; so being the nosy, food-centric person i am, i asked what she planned to do with it and she said she's going to try to produce chocolate bar(s), just for fun... for all the labor involved, i think she should have bought several, but i didn't say that to her...
  • Post #12 - May 5th, 2022, 8:47 pm
    Post #12 - May 5th, 2022, 8:47 pm Post #12 - May 5th, 2022, 8:47 pm
    Yeah, it seems you would need at least two pods for a good yield, possibly three. I saw some basic tutorials on Youtube, so I do have the rest of my cocoa beans in a mason jar with an airlock on it fermenting (hopefully). We'll see. But the yield from what I have is lucky to be about a half bar of chocolate. I think you might be able to eke out a single bar with a cocoa pod. It doesn't seem to be terribly cost effective, but could be fun.

    This is the bare-bones, simplified tutorial I found:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bwhyD7RPVw

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