Chocolate is prepared from the fruit of the Theobroma cacao. Theobroma cacao trees are native to the Amazon and Orinoco river basins in South America. The trees are widely distributed from southeastern Mexico to the Amazon River. They thrive in hot, humid areas within about 20 degrees of the equator, according to Cornell. As the popularity of chocolate spread, growers established plantations in other regions, such as West Africa and South and Southeast Asia.
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