This experiment, which began three years ago, was developed jointly by the University of Malaga and the chocolate house La Despensa de Palacio
Scientists from the Institute de Hortofruticultura Subtropical y Mediterránea La Mayora, from the University of Malaga, Malaga, Spain, managed to produce cocoa for the first time on the European continent.
This experiment, which began three years ago, has the participation of the chocolate house The Palace Pantry, a company that provided some of the cocoa plants and that will be in charge of producing the first chocolates with these pods.
cocoa is tropical
Cocoa does not grow anywhere in the world. For this plant to develop and bear fruit, it must be planted in an area that meets certain conditions.
The climate must be humid, the temperature must oscillate between 18 and 30 degrees and it must rain constantly, among other characteristics that are only achieved in tropical countries.
That is why the only way for these cocoa plants planted in Malaga to grow and bear fruit was to grow them in a greenhouse where temperature and humidity are controlled, in addition to manual pollination.
Likewise, for the cocoa tree to produce fruit, pollination is necessary, that is, the arrival of pollen from the anthers to the stigmas of the flower; and in their natural habitat they do small insects of different species.
One of the research lines of the La Mayora Institute of Subtropical and Mediterranean Horticulture is to diversify the cultivation and variety of tropical species.
The main tropical crops of the Iberian Peninsula that are grown outdoors are avocado, custard apple, and mango.
Lychee, longan, pitaya, carambola, passion fruit, guava and coffee are also grown outdoors. And, in the greenhouse, only cocoa and papaya.