My recent release, Prince Of Granola, is set in Costa Rica on a cacao plantation. As always (and one of the fun parts of this crazy writing career) is doing the research. But often times, the "behind-the-scenes" work stays just that. That's a shame.
I decided to post some images so you can see what I'm talking about in the book.
These are cacao pods hanging from the tree in varying degrees of ripeness. They're really quite beautiful. The rare white bean's pod isn't white, by the way.
Cutting the pod off carefully. The cacaotero can't afford to damage the tree and allow disease to enter. Remember, a super humid climate in Costa Rica. As Roberts says "One hundred and ten percent".
Opened pod. I can't tell for sure, but suspect this was opened with a machete, which is a quicker way to split them and remove the bean/pulp. It's also done with a mallet, more time consuming but with potentially less damage to the bean.
That's how they harvest in Prince Of Granola.
Costa Rican hillside. Dirt path or road will become treacherous in the rain.
Very treacherous and gravely affects our characters in Prince Of Granola.
Next: the making of chocolate or what's called "Bean to bar."