The word cacao comes from two words in the Mayan language meaning bitter juice. Cacao trees produce seeds, or cacao beans, which we use to make chocolate. Cacao beans are grown in South America and Mexico, and are then shipped to us in burlap sacks. Because of a mistake of spelling many years ago, we now say cocoa beans here in America instead of cacao beans. Also, this is just an extra little fact. In South America, cacao beans were once used for money because they were thought to be valuable.
Today, cocoa beans must be roasted, grinded, and mixed with sweeteners to taste like the chocolate we know and love. It takes 400 cacao beans to make one pound of chocolate. The average intake of chocolate for each American is about 15 pounds per year. The Swiss eat around 22 pounds. That's a lot of chocolate!!