How many of you love chocolate? Brownies? Chocolate ice cream? Do you know where chocolate comes from? Most people have heard of the cocoa beans that are the seeds of the cocoa tree. Farmers roast them and smash them and then squeeze out the liquid that becomes the magical cocoa powder.
But did you know that cocoa beans grow in big pods surrounded by a thick gooey paste? Did you know about the cocoa flower? Pollen from one cocoa flower travels to another cocoa flower opening a tiny tube inside the flower that holds the special ingredients that mix together with the pollen to eventually create the pod.
The rest of the cycle that creates chocolate involves tiny insects called midges, the big cocoa leaves, and maggots. Tiny maggots wriggle out of ants and eat their brains. We need the cocoa stems and lizards. We need the roots and fungi. Monkeys spit the beans out of the pods as they swing through the rain forest.
This chain of mystery fits together with perfection and each character plays its part over and over and over again for centuries. We are the lucky ones who get to bite into the chocolate bar or the scoop of ice cream and we need to thank the midges and the maggots and the fungi that made it all possible.
978-1580892872 Ages 7-10
Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com