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What are cocoa pods?

Cocoa pods are the dried vessel that contain cocoao beans (cacao), which is used for making chocolate. The pod, when fresh, contains a fruity pulp that can be eaten. The beans are removed and fermented and dried for chocolate making. Our pods are fully dried and not suitable for making chocolate. They can, however, be used for making African Black Soap.

The pods are very educational for demonstrating where chocolate comes from, and make wonderful home decor pieces, educational display pieces, or decoration for a farmer's market stand or for a chocolate shop. They are also a profitable resale item for chocolate shops and a great item to include in your gift shop, chocolate class, or chocolate event. 

What is the shelf life of the pods?
They are fully non-perishable and will last indefinitely if kept properly in a dry location.

Are the pods fresh?
The pods are not fresh but dried. There is no pulp inside them. The seeds will not sprout as cocoa beans are recalcitrant-they die once dried out and are not viable for planting.

What variety of cocoa tree do the pods come from?
Our pods are either Nacional or CCN-51 trees. These two types of cocoa grow in Ecuador. Nacional pods are more football shaped with shallower furrows, whereas CCN-51 pods are longer and narrower, with deep furrows.

How are the pods dried?
Our pods are fully dried by the sun without the use of chemicals or artificial drying methods.

When will my order ship?
We usually ship within 24 hours. During periods of high demand your items may take up to 48 hours before they are shipped. At certain times of the year we may not have items in stock and you will be advised as to shipping times and delays.

Why is my order delayed?
If you have ordered on backorder, we will keep you advised of when your items will ship. Because our items come from Ecuador, it sometimes takes several weeks for them to arrive at our warehouse.

Can I make chocolate from the pods?
No, you cannot make chocolate from the pods or the beans inside the pods. The beans are not properly fermented and will not make a good-tasting chocolate. Neither the pods nor the beans inside them are recommended for human consumption.

Can I make chocolate from the beans?
You can make chocolate from the beans that are sold separately from the pods. However, the beans should not be consumed raw.