Definition of forastero in US English:


(also forastero tree)


  • A cacao tree of a widely grown variety that provides the bulk of the world's cocoa beans.

    • ‘Due to the hardiness and productivity of the forastero trees, this inferior chocolate has since come to dominate the world market. since then, many thousands of crossings and backcrossings of the criollo and other cacao varieties have occurred, in addition to additional disease epidemics.’
    • ‘Generally, fine or flavour cocoa beans are produced from the criollo or trinitario tree, while bulk cocoa beans come from forastero trees (to confuse matters, there are officially recognised exceptions).’
    • ‘Among them, there are the mechanisms of assimilation of forasteros into the communities of residence, the tensions involved in internal migrations, the power struggles within an indigenous society, and the impact of local political histories on the undermining of colonial authority during the years leading to the pan-Andean insurrections of the early 1780s.’
    • ‘Because a forastero tree produces far more cocoa beans than a criollo, 90% of the world's chocolate is made of forastero beans.’
    • ‘There is one variety of forastero that is considered a flavour cacao, which is the Nacional or Arriba cacao grown in Ecuador.’


Mid 19th century: from Spanish, literally ‘foreign’, because the tree was a ‘foreign’ import to Venezuela from the West Indies, as distinct from the criollo or native variety.