Cocoa butter is extracted from cocoa beans, which are grown primarily in the rainforests of South and Central America. Cocoa beans have been grown for thousands of years and were extremely cherished among ancient populations such as the Mayans and the Aztecs. 1828 was the first time a process was invented for extracting cocoa butter – twenty years before the first bar of chocolate came along!
The process involves fermenting the cocoa beans and then roasting them. At this point the cocoa butter can be separated to leave the solid part of the bean, which will later be used to make cocoa powder.