Thanks, Mr. Biting Midge!

Chocolate is the end result of a seemingly endless cascade of unlikely events — fermentation, enzymatic reactions between the bean and it’s shell, careful drying, etc., even not considering the difficult process from bean to bar. Tonight, I’m sending a shout-out to the bug that sort of starts this process, Forcipomyia from the ever-popular Ceratopogonidae family!

The Chocolate Bug
(Image from BugGuide.net)

This little guy, a close relative of the no-see-um and other biting midges, in addition to annoying people around the world, is the primarily pollinator of Theobroma Cacao, the chocolate tree. No pollination, no fruit. No fruit, no cacao beans! Because cacao depends on the activity of this midge, the plant primarily grows in forested locations where rotting fruit and other decaying plant matter provide them with food and lodging. Thanks for the chocolate, bug! (Any insect that makes chocolate possible but gets stuck with the label “biting midge” needs a new agent.)

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