Cocoa trees grow only in tropical areas, thus around the equator - and thus especially in Ecuador. They need a humid-hot climate, sufficient rainfall, especially shadows, so they are generally cultivated in mixed cultures with other, higher plants, such as coconut palms, banana trees, and avocado and mango trees.
The plants bear several times a year, the main crop is between November to March, the first harvest is possible after 5 years. A cocoa fruit usually contains 30-50 cocoa seeds (also called cocoa beans).
of a ripe cocoa fruit
traditionally under banana leaves
At the beginning of the fermentation, the cocoa beans are still completely covered with white pulp.
of cocoa beans starts after 3-4 days of fermentation