Scraping the pods
The pod has a rind -- which is similar to melon -- that encases the cacao beans.
The rind is cracked with a machete, and the insides are scooped out. In a typical cacao pod, there are about 40 almond-shaped beans surrounded by a white pulp called "baba." The baba de cacao is sweet and delicious to eat. Unprocessed cacao beans, however, are bitter and almost inedible. The beans are usually a beautiful deep purple, although they can vary from white to pink.