The oblong fruit of the cacao tree. Pods measure six to 12 inches and ripen in five to six months. Inside are 30 to 40 half-inch-long, almond-shaped seeds, or beans, from which chocolate is made. Pods are harvested and cut open with a type of machete and are left as is to ferment. The beans are then scooped out and spread out in the sun to dry. Dried beans are graded and sold to chocolate producers.
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