Fermenting cacao seeds

On a cacao plantation in Barlovento, Venezuela, cacao seeds are fermenting in a wooden bucket. The seeds come from cacao pods, which grow on the Thebroma Cacao tree. Fermentation, which converts the seeds' sugars into acids, is the first step in the process of making the seeds into cocoa. The fermentation process lasts from two to eight days and causes the seeds to develop their distinct cocoa flavor. The fermented seeds will later be dried in the sun, roasted, peeled, and ground.

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