Monday, February 05, 2007

Cupuaçu tree

The cupuaçu tree, Theobroma grandiflorum, is in the same genus as the chocolate tree, Theobroma cacao. You might recognize the similarity of the two by looking at the leaves. but the fruit is quite different. At Bosque Santa Lúcia, the fruit is seasonable, i.e., only to be found during the rainy season. Fortunately the pulp adapts very well to freezing, so it's available year around in Santarém. Like its cousin, T. cacao, chocolate can be made from the seeds, except it is a white chocolate. In recent times someone has patented it as Cupalate. Speaking of a patent, only a few years someone in Japan patented the word "cupuaçu", which caused quite stir here in Brazil. So much so, that eventually the patent was revoked.

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