You like potato and I like potahto; You like tomato and I like tomahto; Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto; Let’s call the whole thing off
Cocoa and cacao (we prefer cocoa) really refer to the same thing. Cocoa or cacao can refer to the tropical tree (botanical name: Theobroma Cacao which means ‘Food of the gods’) which gives us chocolate, the food of the gods!
Cocoa and cacao can also refer to the beans or seeds of the cocoa tree which are the raw ingredient for our delicious chocolates. Yes, you enjoy eating seeds.
Because good news come in threes, there is a third meaning for cocoa and cacao. It may also refer to the powder made from cocoa beans/seeds which has been fermented, dried, roasted and then cracked, winnowed, and finally grinded (variation may occur in this process).
Actually… Cocoa and cacao can also mean one more thing. Hot cocoa or hot cacao can refer to drinking chocolate.
So why cocoa AND cacao then?! The more ‘authentic’ sounding cacao experienced a revival with growing interest in a raw food diet. In order to distinguish unroasted cocoa from raw cocoa, cacao was adopted. For all functions and purpose, unless you are talking to an owner of a raw food store, cocoa and cacao refers to the same thing – the same many things!.
Ok… I think I’m starting to understand… but then what is coca? We don’t sell coca. Coca is cocaine. That is all.