For those of you living in, or around Chiang Mai… Are you a chocolate addict?. The Dept. Pomology of Mae Jo Agricultural University has a few (about 20) young Theobroma cacao plants for sale. They not advertise them, in fact they 'hide' them among other fruit seedlings, and you will have to go there as well find somebody working there who can help you (best time would be afternoon).
At 100 cm. high, potted in a plastic bag and with a price tag of 60 baht each (50 if you ask, sweet voiced, the magic words: "Rot noi, dai mai?" ) you might be able to grow something funny/special in your garden. I never saw them for sale at the Kham Thien flower market and spotted these a few days ago. The little nursery has a field with medium sized trees growing nearby, some starting to fruit right now, so you can see what you could/should end up in a couple of years. Btw, If you really want to make your own cup of (hot) chocolate, it's definately more easy, and quicker, to buy a bag of cacao at the Lotus
The Dept. Pomology is here: 18º 53' 40.94" N, 99º 00' 57.82" E (Just copy and paste in search bar Google Earth)
A native of the Central Americas and the Caribbean, this little tree is one of the treasures brought from the new world to the old. Linnaeus named the tree ‘Theobroma’, which translates to ‘Food of the Gods”. The people native to the Caribbean Islands valued the beans so highly that they were used as currency as well as a beverage. Aztec legend has it that the god Quetzalcoatl brought the cocoa tree to earth from Paradise, and showed the people how to roast, crush and grind the seeds to paste. The drink was ‘discovered’ by the Spanish and the beans brought to Europe. Cacao is derived from the Aztec word cacahuatl, the name given to the pounded seeds by the Mexicans.
For more information, have a look at this page: Cacao - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia