Cacao vs Chocolate

What is the difference between cacao and chocolate? They are the same thing, aren’t they? Well, not really. They all come from the same plant, but they refer to different things. Below, we will see the differences between cacao vs chocolate so that you won’t buy a wrong item the next time you want to make a drink!

In this article, you can find out more about
– What cacao and chocolate are,
– The differences between cacao and chocolate, and
– The suitable uses of cacao and chocolate.

Cacao is beanlike seeds that are acquired from the cacao tree. Various items can be made from this ingredient. Cacao is the base ingredient for various products, including cocoa, cacao powder, cacao butter, cacao nibs, and chocolate. Note that cacao is the raw beans, whereas cocoa usually refers to the heat-processed beans. See also: Bittersweet Chocolate vs Dark Chocolate.

On the other hand, chocolate refers to the typically sweet and brown food preparation made from ground and roasted cacao beans. According to Wikipedia, chocolate has existed since as early as 1900 BCE in Mesoamerica. There are also bittersweet chocolate products which have very low sugar and milk, they are usually used for breads and cakes.

Cacao comes in the form of raw beans. It cannot be used right away for drinks and foods. However, cacao products sold in the stores are usually already processed, such as cacao powder, cacao butter, or cacao nibs.

On the other hand, chocolate is available in various shapes. The most common one is rectangular bars. However, you can also find chocolate products that come in the form of circular pods or ovals – you can easily eat a piece of such chocolate in one bite. Meanwhile, bittersweet chocolate for breads and cakes almost always come in rectangular bars.

Pure cacao is bitter. Pure cacao is actually a poison, although you need to consume lots of it in order to get the dangerous effects. That is why pure cacao is not really used for drinks and foods. We mainly used the processed form for consumption. Nevertheless, the chocolate aroma and flavor are very strong.

Meanwhile, chocolate products usually contain cacao along with milk and sugar. Hence, the flavor is a lot more enjoyable. It is sweet and soft. The smell is sweet and a little bit nutty. Meanwhile, bittersweet chocolate usually has a sweet taste with a bitter aftertaste.

Pure cacao has limited uses. It is used for making self-made chocolate by mixing it with some milk and sugar, and maybe other ingredients. You can experiment to make your own composition. However, if you just want to make a cup of hot chocolate, the whole process is just too long. Pure cacao is sometimes used for breads and cakes.

On the other hand, chocolate is widely used for drinks and foods. You can make a hot chocolate drink from chocolate bars, or just use chocolate powder. Chocolate is loved by many for snacks. Chocolate is also used for many breads and cakes.

Cacao vs Chocolate
- Refers to the raw, unprocessed beans- Refers to the food made from cacao, milk, and sugar
- Bitter- Sweet
- Usually needs to be processed before consumption- Ready for consumption
- Used for making self-made chocolate and in some breads or cakes- Used for snacks, making drinks, and in many foods

Cacao refers to the raw, unprocessed cacao beans. Pure cacao is bitter. Meanwhile, chocolate refers to the food preparation made from cacao, milk, and sugar. Chocolate is typically sweet. You should use chocolate if you just want to make a hot chocolate drink.