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Cocoa Varieties

Cocoa was originally differentiated as two (2) types; Criollo and Forastero.  Both types have crossed freely and are difficult to differentiate now except by their beans and the shape of their pods.

Criollo types possess large plump beans with white interiors.  Interiors will, however, be a light purple when the flowers receive pollination from Forastero trees.  The interior of Forastero beans is a deep reddish-purple and the beans are flat-sided and usually smaller that Criollo beans. Criollo pods are usually high-shouldered, long-pointed and warty with a thin pod wall.

Forastero types usually have smooth, melon or calabash shaped pods with thick pod walls.  Forastero types are the only ones that tend to come true from seed.

Trinitario types   Is a cross between Criollo and Forastero, may have pods that are high shouldered or bottle-necked with long or short points and are slightly warty.

Note, Criollo pods are usually green while Forastero pods vary in colour, some being green, some red, some a combination of both colours. Criollos are less hardy than Forastero types and are now only grown commercially in Venezuela.

Cocoa Varieties in Jamaica