The Chocolate Tooth

Origins of Chocolate

Chocolate comes from the cacao tree, which is native to tropical areas in South and Central America. But cacao trees are now also found in the Caribbean, parts of West Africa and beyond. The cacao tree's scientific name is Theobroma Cacao, meaning "food of the Gods."

Pods, about the size of an American football, are grown on the trees. Inside the pods are dried seeds from which chocolate and cocoa powder is made (872K).

The map shows some countries that grow cacao trees that are used to make chocolate.

View Origins of chocolate in a larger map

Although these are the countries from where chocolate originates, chocolate is produced and refined in other countries, such as Singapore, the United States, England and other European countries.