Cocoa or cacao, when we think of them, only that oozy chocolaty flavor comes to our minds. But have you ever wondered what exactly the difference between both of them is? Does it make you curious about what is there in your favorite chocolate? Is it cocoa, or is it cacao? Don’t worry; this article will help you understand the difference.

Origin of cocoa and cacao

Before going to the in-depth of nitty-gritty cocoa vs. cacao, let us first understand where chocolate comes from. All of the chocolate products, be it cacao or cocoa comes from cacao plants. These are found on Theobroma cacao trees in which they are clustered into pods. Cacao bean is found upon the opening of the seed. This bean is then processed under low heat to get cacao butter, and then it is again milled to derive cacao powder. Cocoa, on the other hand, is made after the removal of cacao butter with high heat, and after this, cocoa powder is made.

What is exactly the difference?

Even after the name sound similar, these two are different from each other. The main difference we find between them is that cocoa is a bit sweeter, which is why it is a better option when it comes to baking. Cacao, on the other hand, because of it’s cold processing, is thought to have more antioxidants. It is one of the favorite ingredients for keto-dieters as it is lower in calories.

Cocoa vs. cacao debate has been there for a long time. It is often said that ‘cacao’ is used in Latin America, whereas ‘cocoa’ is used more frequently in Africa. But over the changing time, ‘cocoa’ and ‘cacao’ have become one of the plants versus the product. Cacao is commonly used to refer to a tree and its various parts. It is the seed that gets fermented once and then killed becomes a part of the agricultural product, which is then known as cocoa.

A quick trick to remember the difference

  • Cacao refers to the plant’s bean or a product using non-roasted beans, whereas cocoa is related to the product derived from roasted beans.
  • Cacao is an evergreen tree native to South Americal, whereas cocoa is made from powdered beans of the cacao tree.
  • The processing of both is different from each other. Raw cacao is roasted at high temperature to derive cocoa powder while cold pressing non-roasted cacao beans make cacao powder.

Final words

Whether it is cocoa or cacao, the end product looks almost the same. Still, this article has given enough detail to help you in any future debate relating to cocoa vs. cacao.