Cacao or Chocolate Nut: an oblong roundish nut, nearly of the shape of an almond, but larger: the shell is dark coloured, brittle, and thin: the kernel is both externally and internally brownish, divided into several unequal portions, which are joined firmly together. It is the produce of a small American tree, (Cacao Sloan, Jam. Amygdalis similis guatimalensis. B. C. Theobroma Cacao Linn.) bearing a large red fruit shaped like a cucumber, which contains thirty or more of the nuts. There are several sorts of these nuts in the shops, distinguished by their size, and the places whence they are brought: the larger kind, from the province of Nicaragua in Mexico, is most esteemed.

Cacao nuts have a light agreeable smell, and an unctuous, bitterish, roughish, not ungrateful taste: those of Nicaragua and Caracco are the moil agreeable; those of the French Antilles, and our own American islands, the most unctuous. All the sorts, thoroughly comminuted and committed to the press, yield a con-siderable quantity of a fluid oil, of the same general qualities with those obtained from other seeds and kernels: boiled in water, they give out a large proportion, half their weight or more, of a sebaceous matter, which gradually concretes upon the surface as the liquor cools. For obtaining this product to the best advantage, the faculty of Paris directs the nuts to be slightly roasted in an iron pan, cleared from the rind and germ, levigated on a hot stone, then diluted with a proper quantity of hot water, and kept in a water-bath till the oil rises to the top; which, when concreted, looks brown, and by repeated liquefactions in hot water becomes white. This vegetable fevum is not liable to grow rancid in long keeping; and hence is recommended as a basis for odoriferous unguents, and the compositions called apoplectic balsams.

The principal use of these nuts is for the preparation of the dietetic liquor, chocolate; a mild unctuous fluid, supposed to be service-able in consumptive disorders, emaciations, and an acrimonious state of the juices in the first passages.

Oleum feu butyrum e nucleis cacao ph. Paris.