Skip to main content
Select Source:

cacao

cacao (kəkä´ō, –kā´–), tropical tree (Theobroma cacao) of the family Sterculiaceae (sterculia family), native to South America, where it was first domesticated and was highly prized by the Aztecs. It has been extensively cultivated in the Old World since the Spanish conquest. The fruit is a pod containing a sweetish pulp in which are embedded rows of seeds, the cocoa "beans" of commerce. To obtain cocoa, the harvested pods are fermented by naturally occurring bacteria and yeasts to eliminate their bitter, astringent quality. The seeds are then cured and roasted. The clean kernels, called cocoa nibs, are manufactured into various products. Their large percentage of fat, removed by pressure, is the so-called cocoa butter used in fine soaps and cosmetics and in medicine for emollients and suppositories; the residue is ground to a powder (cocoa) and used for beverages and flavoring. Chocolate is a product in which the cocoa butter has been retained. Cacao products have a high food value because of the large proportion of fat, carbohydrates, and protein. Cacao is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Malvales, family Sterculiaceae.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"cacao." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Oct. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"cacao." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 17, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cacao

"cacao." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved October 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cacao

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Cacao

Cacao

As currency, beverage, and divine plant, cacao (Theobroma cacao, family Sterculiaceae) has played an important role in ancient Central American cultures. To the Mayans, the plant was a gift from their godsimplied in the name Theobroma, Latin for "food of the gods." The dried seeds were important in Aztec society as a unit of currency (used in the Yucatan Peninsula until the 1850s), and as part of a drink reserved for the nobility. Today, cacao is probably best known for the sweet, rich food produced from the seeds called chocolate.

Cacao is typically a small-to medium-sized deciduous tree of the New World tropical forests. The small, cream-colored flowers are produced directly from the woody trunks and branches of the tree, not in the leaf axils, where most other flowering plants produce flowers. Following pollination, pods are produced, ranging in color from green through yellow to red-brown. Each pod contains between twenty and sixty seeds that are surrounded by a thick, whitish pulp. Seed dispersal in the wild is usually by monkeys.

Although presently distributed throughout Central America due to migration and dispersal by the Mayans, cacao is thought to have its origin in the eastern Andes. Cultivation has led to the production of two forms of cacao: Criollo, from Central America, and Forastero, from South America. Trinitario is a form produced by breeding criollo and forastero types. At the turn of the twenty-first century, cacao is grown commercially in parts of West Africa, Malaysia, Brazil, Central America, and parts of Mexico.

Processing Cacao

The process of producing chocolate from cacao seeds is complex. Following harvesting, ripe pods are opened, the seeds removed, and the pulp scraped away from the seeds. At this point, the light-brown seeds have no discernible chocolate taste. Piles of cleaned seeds are allowed to ferment for up to one week, during which time the chocolate flavor begins to develop as polyphenols start to break down. During the fermentation process, the embryos of the seeds are killed and any remaining pulp is broken down. The color of the seeds also changes to purple. Following fermentation, the seeds are dried, sorted, and shipped to processing factories.

At the processing factory, roasting the seeds removes any remaining water and acids and allows the chocolate flavor to develop. Roasting is done at 121°C for seeds used to produce chocolate, higher for cocoa powder. The roasted seeds are then cracked and the seed coats removed, leaving the cotyledons (known as chocolate nibs), which are then ground using rollers.

During the grinding process, sufficient heat is generated to melt fats in the chocolate nibs, producing a fine paste called chocolate liquor. Baking chocolate is molded, set chocolate liquor. Subjecting the nibs to high pressure prior to grinding removes up to 30 percent of the fats and yields a dry cocoa powder. The fats are called cocoa butter, and they may be used later in the production procedure. Most chocolate is treated with alkalis to neutralize organic acids that are still present in the chocolate. This process, called dutching, produces a mild, dark chocolate.

Milk chocolate is produced by adding condensed milk to chocolate liquor. Stirring the chocolate results in very finely ground cacao particles, which yields a very smooth chocolate. Finally, the addition of extra cocoa butter produces some of the smoothest and creamiest of chocolates.

Chocolate acts as a mild stimulant due to the presence of the alkaloids theobromine, caffeine, and theophylline. The caffeine can be extracted from the discarded seed coats and used in drinks and medicines; extracted theo-bromine can also be chemically converted into caffeine.

see also Alkaloids; Economic Importance of Plants.

Charles A. Butterworth

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Cacao." Plant Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Oct. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Cacao." Plant Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 17, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/cacao

"Cacao." Plant Sciences. . Retrieved October 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/cacao

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

cacao

ca·ca·o / kəˈkou; kəˈkāō/ • n. (pl. -os) 1. (also cacao bean) a beanlike seed from which cocoa, cocoa butter, and chocolate are made. 2. the small tropical American evergreen tree (Theobroma cacao, family Sterculiaceae) that bears these seeds in large, oval pods.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"cacao." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Oct. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"cacao." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 17, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cacao-0

"cacao." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved October 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cacao-0

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

cacao

cacao seed from which cocoa is prepared. XVI. — Sp. — Nahuatl cacauatl (uatl tree). See also COCOA 2.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"cacao." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Oct. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"cacao." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 17, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cacao-1

"cacao." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved October 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cacao-1

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

cacao

cacao See cocoa

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"cacao." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Oct. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"cacao." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 17, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cacao

"cacao." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved October 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cacao

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

cacao

cacaoallow, avow, Bilbao, Bissau, bough, bow, bow-wow, brow, cacao, chow, ciao, cow, dhow, Dow, endow, Foochow, Frau, Hangzhou, Hough, how, Howe, kowtow, Lao, Liao, Macao, Macau, miaow, Mindanao, mow, now, ow, Palau, plough (US plow), pow, prow, row, scow, Slough, sough, sow, Tao, thou, vow, wow, Yangshao

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"cacao." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Oct. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"cacao." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 17, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cacao

"cacao." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved October 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cacao

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Cacao

Cacao

Cacao (Theobroma cacao), known as "the food of the gods," and its main byproduct, chocolate, come from the seeds, or nibs, of a pod, the fruit of a tree native to tropical America. The cacao tree usually requires shade trees, often the so-called madre de cacao (mother of cacao), also an American native. Experts disagree about the number of cacao types.

The criollo or native cacaos are often held to be the best. They are more delicate and low-yielding, and grow traditionally in Mesoamerica and the Caribbean. Forastero cacaos are more robust and prolific, but of lower quality. Cultivated in colonial Ecuador and Venezuela, this variety was also carried from Brazil to West Africa by the Portuguese, and is now a leading crop in several countries there, including the Ivory Coast and Ghana. Forastero is also cultivated in Southeast Asia. The third variety, trinitario, so named because it was apparently first cultivated commercially in Trinidad, is probably a crossbreed of the original varieties and is now grown worldwide.

Cacao trees are slow growing, sensitive to cold and drought, and require constant water from rain or irrigation. The nibs are extracted from the shell and the pulp, then fermented and dried. The beans are then bagged and shipped to markets, where they are manufactured into hard chocolate, cacao powder or cocoa, cacao butterfat, and other products.

Cacao is generally considered Amazonian in its "wild" state, although some dispute this. The nibs have a short fertility after being picked, and so transplantation was difficult before the availability of rapid modern transportation, causing wide distances between areas of cultivation and the emergence of different varieties. Cacao has obviously been modified by human intervention for many centuries.

It is in Mesoamerica that the first recorded histories of the plant and its fruit are found. Cacao was part of very ancient mythologies. The word itself may be Olmec, possibly dating to before 1000 bce. Cacao was also of great importance to the Maya and other Mesoamerican cultures, including the city-centered states of the Valley of Mexico. Chocolate drinks are mentioned frequently in Mayan hieroglyphics, and elite tombs often hold pottery containing the residue of liquid chocolate. Some scholars have claimed that in some parts of Mesoamerica, chocolate drinks were a privilege limited to the nobility, but others find this unlikely because the widespread cultivation of the tree in the lowlands suggests general consumption by all classes. Certainly the drink was very much part of public ceremony and ritual.

The beans or nibs were an important trade and tribute item for centuries before the Spanish invasions. The plants' strict climatic requirements, and the elaborate, long-distance trade and taxation networks that developed, encouraged regional specialization. In coastal Guerrero, Colima, Veracruz, and Tabasco in Mexico, as well as the Gulf of Honduras—to use modern geographical nomenclature—cacao was grown intensively for export to population centers before the arrival of Europeans. Christopher Columbus (1451–1506), on his fourth voyage in 1502, seized a large seagoing canoe in the Gulf of Honduras carrying cacao beans as part of its cargo.

The great centers of cacao cultivation around the time of the first European invasions of America were Soconusco (today the Pacific coast of Chiapas in Mexico) and the coast running all the way from Chiapas to present-day El Salvador. From these plantations, beans found their way to the highland centers. Soconusco, a Culhua-Mexica outlying colony, sent cacao as tribute to the Aztec emperor Montezuma (ca. 1466–1520) in Tenochtitlán (now Mexico City). The beans were stored in great warehouses in the cities of the central valley.

In pre-Columbian Mexico, cacao beans served as coinage; it might be said, then, that money "grew on trees." Cacao beans were used as a rudimentary means of exchange from ancient times, and at least as far south as highland Costa Rica during the colonial period, especially when there were shortages of official metal coinage. What we know of pre-invasion cacao coinage is scanty, but in western Nicaragua, a Mesoamerican periphery, there may well have been standard equivalencies recognized by officialdom. Certainly such tables relating cacao beans to other coinages can be found sporadically during the three Spanish colonial centuries. Cacao beans also entered the numerical systems of measures based on serial numbers of beans. In the same way, there is some evidence of the counterfeiting of beans, certainly a sign of their monetary and symbolic value.

As far as we know, hard chocolate was not consumed. Still, the people of Mesoamerica had many recipes for cacao. The ground beans were mixed with hot or cold water and with maize, ground chilies, annatto, and vanilla, as well as seeds, roots, and flowers of a great variety. A favorite method was to beat these mixtures to a froth. Many of the dishes were soups, and the liquid chocolate, poured over other ingredients, may be the ancestor of modern mole sauces. The aristocracy and the pochteca, a kind of official merchant class, drank huge quantities of these libations at festivals and public banquets. The first Europeans to taste these native recipes, however, found them to be unpalatable. One early Italian visitor described them as "fit only for pigs."

The conquistadors of central Mexico captured warehouses of cacao, which they used as money. Other invading bands found groves in Soconusco and Izalcos in today's El Salvador. Soon these groves were exploited by powerful Central American encomenderos. These Spaniards usually did not seize ownership of the groves, because cultivation was a specialized business and required hard work in a humid subtropical climate. Instead, they coerced labor and tried to extract surpluses and taxes for trading. Large cargoes of cacao were carried by mule trains and small ships to central Mexico.

Within a few years, avaricious encomenderos and their governmental allies forced native growers to intensify planting and harvesting, which appears to have been counterproductive. The native population was in severe decline because of the Old World epidemiological shock, and overwork and exploitation made the demographic catastrophe worse. Imported labor from the highlands did not solve the resulting labor shortage, and overplanting, along with the cutting down of shade trees, destroyed the understory needs of the cacao trees.

All this occurred at a time when market demand was increasing. Apparently, consumption among the native peoples of central Mexico and highland Guatemala grew rapidly, and observers described the quaffing of almost unbelievable quantities of chocolate drinks. Demand was such that cacao from more distant plantations could pay expensive freight charges and still show a profit. By the seventeenth century, coastal Venezuela and Guayaquil in Ecuador had begun to replace Central America, Tabasco, and Guerrero as the main suppliers, and Mexico started to import large cargoes of the hardier and more plentiful forastero crops. Venezuelan growers dominated at first using African slave labor, and eventually sent much of their crop to Spain and to Dutch smugglers in Curaçao as the taste for chocolate developed in western Europe and markets organized in Amsterdam and elsewhere.

Guayaquil began to export beans at about the same time as Venezuela and was able to produce considerable quantities of inexpensive cacaos. Guayaquil prices, despite long and inefficient trade routes, undercut those of Central America and even Venezuela. Central American growers obtained a royal ban on Guayaquil and other South American imports but contraband flourished. By 1700 or so, Guayaquil chocolate began to reach even Spain and other European centers, as well as to supply some three-quarters of Mexican demand. New producers such as Trinidad, Caribbean Costa Rica, Martinique, and Saint-Domingue (Haiti) also took minor places as suppliers to the transatlantic markets.

Europeans developed a taste for chocolate slowly, compared to Americans of all ethnic groups. The addition of Old World sugar and New World vanilla helped with its acceptance. Cacao beans probably reached Europe by the 1520s, and its use as a drink spread from Spain, first to France, where chocolate houses were fashionable by mid-seventeenth century, and then to London, Holland, and elsewhere. The Dutch, who captured Curaçao from the Spanish in 1634, soon sent large cargoes of Venezuelan contraband cacao to Amsterdam, the great chocolate mart of Europe. The chocolate mart in Amsterdam became so monopolistic, in fact, that even Spanish merchants had to buy there.

By the eighteenth century, American chocolate was being drunk throughout Europe and its colonies with varying degrees of enthusiasm. In the late century, some people began to add milk, wine, and cloves. Recipes stipulated the best ways to prepare chocolate, with emphasis on ways of heating and whipping to provide the ideal frothy frappé. Chocolate, however, remained quite expensive.

Gradually, intensification of production and new technologies turned chocolate into the solid, inexpensive bars and hard candies of today. The popularity of chocolate as a drink was surpassed by coffee and tea in most places, and the product went its separate way as a confectionary. The Swiss followed the Dutch and English pioneers. The Nestlé brothers and Rodolphe Lindt (1855–1909) developed the first milk chocolates, and in the United States Milton Hershey (1857–1945) took advantage of economies of scale, vertical integration of needed products, and mass marketing to capture a giant share of the confectionary market. The "food of the gods," produced mainly in West Africa since about 1900, had become the candy of the masses.

see also Aztec Empire; Commodity Trade, Africa; Empire in the Americas, Spanish.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Alden, Dauril. The Significance of Cacao Production in the Amazon Region During the Late Colonial Period: An Essay in Comparative Economic History. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1976.

Bergman, James L. "The Distribution of Cacao Cultivation in Pre-Columbian America." Annals of the Association of American Geographers 59 (1969): 85-96.

Coe, Sophie D., and Michael D. Coe. The True History of Chocolate. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1996.

Piñero, Eugenio. The Town of San Felipe and Colonial Cacao Economies. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1994.

Young, Allen M. The Chocolate Tree: A Natural History of Cacao. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1994.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Cacao." Encyclopedia of Western Colonialism since 1450. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Oct. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Cacao." Encyclopedia of Western Colonialism since 1450. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 17, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cacao

"Cacao." Encyclopedia of Western Colonialism since 1450. . Retrieved October 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cacao

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.