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If, while walking through the forrest you come across this, a cocoa pod (fruit)…

and cut it open, you will find the cocoa beans. If the fruit was at the correct stage of ripeness, you can suck on the beans, enjoying the sweet pulp surrounding them. They’re tasty!

If you were to take a whole bunch of the beans, dry them out, grind them up and compress them, you’d end up with real cocoa, just like what is pictured below. We purchased this cocoa at the Saturday morning market here in Portsmouth. Now we can make some fresh hot cocoa!


  1. wow! We just got home from Costa Rica and I saw that fruit everywhere and had no idea what it was! Must go back now…;0)

  2. Hello Mike and Rebecca! These pictures are beautiful and makes me look forward to our trip to Dominica! Wade is in Domincan Republic any hour now with his mum and will wait for me to return from Costa Rica where I await my Grandson! Then on our way continuing south and so we will meet up with you, to be sure! Smooth sailing! Our SAT phone number is +1- 254-387-9813

    • Sat phone? You guys are too cool for us to hang out with. πŸ™‚

      Thanks Maureen. Just kidding. You two will love Dominica. Looking forward to doing some more exploring with you guys when we meet up. When you’re talking to Wade, tell him to enjoy the good Bohemia beer when he’s in the DR!

      See you soon.

  3. Are you sure those things in the lower part of your final picture are indeed cocoa/chocolate?


  4. I’ve sucked cocoa pulp fresh from the tree in Granada. A little slimy but tasty! A local came walking out of the forest with a bag over his shoulder as we were taking a break from a motor bike tour (rented for the day) and showed us what he had been harvesting.

  5. Isn’t there some kind of fermentation step in there?

    And seriously, how did we get to some of the things we eat. Take coffee for example:
    You pick the fruit
    You extract the seeds and throw away the fruit
    You dry the seeds, and then burn them in a fire
    You grind up the burnt seeds and pour boiling water on them
    You throw away the seeds, and they you DRINK THE WATER!

    The only one of those steps that makes sense is the first one. And all the intermediates are noxious – no one would want to consume any of the intermediate products – you have to go all the way thru the process. How did humans ever figure this out?

    And Mike – are you sure that is compressed cocoa?

    • Sure? No. πŸ™‚

      I totally agree with what you said. How did people come up with this stuff?

      From one of our cruising friends:

      “What you get after sucking the fruit is not the bean. In addition to drying then, you must roast them which allows you to take off an intermediate shell that becomes brittle when roasted. Then you get the actual bean. After that, you can grind it. Be careful though when roasting (we used our oven) the intermediate shell is very flammable and the process should be supervised. Have fun and Bon AppΓ©tit!”

  6. How amazing to be in a place where you can still buy food that is obviously shaped by a pair of human hands. How was the “real” hot cocoa?

  7. you gotta boil it …strain it …. then add milk……just letting u know!!….lol….happy sailing…

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