Chocolate making encompasses many steps to turn cacao beans to chocolate. However, there are many confusing terms involved in the process. The most common confusion is between cacao & cocoa.
So.. what is the difference between the two?
Nothing. They are the same.
Cacao is derived from the Latin word "Theobroma Cacao" and is widely used in craft chocolate world in USA & South America. Cocoa was widely used by the British traders and the term stuck throughout most commonwealth countries. Think, Bangalore vs. Bengaluru or Bombay vs. Mumbai. The difference is just phonetics.
There is another misconception out there that cacao = unroasted & cocoa = roasted. This is incorrect. What is being inferred or talked about is Raw vs. Roasted...and many people, including experts/foodies are guilty of confusing the two terms.
Cacao is the same thing as Cocoa.
Cacao does not necessarily mean its unroasted.
Cocoa does not necessarily mean its roasted.