Cocoa or Cacao?

Posted by on Feb 9, 2018

Cocoa or Cacao?

I am often asked what the difference between cocoa and cacao is. Since they are different names it is assumed they represent different products. These two terms are pretty much interchangeable. Cacao is the original word and comes from the name of the tree Cacao Theobroma, so most South American countries use cacao. Cocoa would also be a confusing word in South America, as the word Coca in South America refers to Cocaine. The name cocoa is mainly used in the US, I imagine the language transfer created the different word. Cacao can be used for Cacao trees, cacao butter, cacao powder, cacao products. Cocoa can also be used to describe cocoa trees, cocoa butter, cocoa powder, etc. Some groups try to make a distinction in quality between cacao and cocoa but it really is a soda, pop, coke situation where people use the word they are most comfortable with.

Regardless of whether you call it cocoa or cacao, it is a delicious healthy ingredient that can be made into chocolate or many other delicious recipes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *