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Turning the hand crank

Turning the hand crank

On a cacao plantation in Barlovento, Venezuela, a visitor turns a metal hand crank to grind cacao seeds into a paste. She braces herself against the table and leans into the crank, demonstrating the tremendous effort needed to grind the seeds. The seeds come from the cacao tree (Thebroma Cacao), which is native to tropical Central and South America. Cacao seeds go through many steps on their way to becoming cocoa. These seeds have been picked, removed from their pods, fermented, dried, and roasted. Grinding the seeds is one of the final steps in the cocoa-making process.

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