In case you weren’t aware of this, chocolate comes from a tree. MU has its very own Chocolate tree too! To see the young chocolate ‘pods’, visit the Tucker Greenhouse and head to the north greenhouse. The chocolate tree, or Theobroma cacao is located in the NW corner of the middle bed. This small tree (4-8 meters) bloomed earlier in the fall, then set fruit, and now at least three chocolate pods can be seen on the trunk of the tree. Each pod is full of seeds or ‘beans’ that are ground to make cocoa, and ultimately chocolate. Once these pods turn yellow and ripen, it’s time to pick them and make chocolate.
Theobroma cacao is found in the Malvaceae or Mallow family. Theobroma cacao is native to tropical regions in Central and South America. Learn more about how chocolate is made by clicking here.