How does one define the difference between Cocoa, and Coca?

I had, long, thought that Cocoa was the primary ingredient in chocolate, while Coca was a common name for Cocaine.

Recently, though, a neighbor told me that Coco is the primary ingredient, in chocolate, and that Cocoa is a real name, for Cocaine.

Which of us is "right"?

Also, is there ANY truth to the rumor that Coca Cola was, originally, made, with Cocaine, and that this is the reason why it is called "Coca Cola"?

If un-true, where did such a stupid rumor start?

3 thoughts on “How does one define the difference between Cocoa, and Coca?

  1. It’s untrue about the cocaine thing because I watched a documentary about a week ago on the BBC where the head of Coke was interviewed and he was asked the question and he said it never contained cocaine.

    The rumor started because the bare ingredients of coke did contain cocaine however they have always had an extraction process which took out all the cocaine before it went into the drink.

  2. I can’t tell you the difference between cocoa and coca, but I can tell you that coca cola once upon a time DID contain cocaine. That is not a rumour.

  3. Cocoa is the common name for the bean of the cacao plant (note the different spelling) and the products that result from processing those beans after drying, roasting and grinding, not unlike the process for coffee. You are correct that cocoa is the primary ingredient in chocolate, in the form of cocoa powder, cocoa butter and cocoa solids.

    The leaves of the coca plant (which is completely different from and in no way related to the cacao plant) contain a variety of naturally occurring chemical compounds called alkaloids, and one of the alkaloids found in the coca leaf is cocaine, a powerful and highly addictive stimulant. Coca leaves are used medicinally by the local peoples of western South America in teas and by chewing them, but of course it is most popularly used to produce cocaine.

    The formula for Coca-cola originally contained an extract from the coca leaf, but not actual cocaine as we know it. Coca-cola was originally developed as a medicinal tonic, so the inclusion of coca extract and caffeine produced a stimulant effect, which made the drinker feel better, at least for a little while.

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