A delicious preparation of cocoa seeds ground together with sugar and vanilla. Very pleasurable to eat, but not very nutritious.
- Stack Limit
- 0.075 kg
- Deterioration Rate
- Path Cost
- Recreation Offset
- Recreation Kind
- Maximum To Ingest
- Is Pleasure Drug
Chocolate is a food item which provides a small amount of nutrition, filling a colonist's hunger meter by 10% per unit consumed. Unlike most other foods, it also grants a bonus to Recreation of 10% per unit. Contrary to the description, the chocolate requires no further processing and is directly harvested from the cocoa tree.
Chocolate can be acquired by planting cocoa trees after Cocoa is researched. The trees have a base Harvest Yield of 20 chocolate per harvest every 16 days, modified by the Plant Harvest Yield of the grower. Harvesting consumes the trees and they must be resown every harvest. Unlike in reality, no further processing is needed to create chocolate.
Unlike most other foods, it does not spoil. While it will still deteriorate if left outside and/or unroofed, it will not spoil even if left unrefrigerated.
Colonists will eat no more than 4 units of chocolate at a time. Manually directing troubled colonists to eat it when necessary is advised.
Both chocolate and insect jelly can be used as a source of recreation in caravans. In a caravan, recreation is otherwise limited to some social activity when stopped and drug use. It could also be used in emergencies, where colonists need to do work but are recreation-starved.
Insect jelly and chocolate are the only nonperishable foods that high-ranking conceited nobles are willing to eat. They can act as a sort of "lavish survival meal". (Beer is technically nonperishable, but you can only drink so much before blacking out or getting addicted)
Compared to insect jelly
As a food item, insect jelly only provides 8% Gluttonous recreation and 0.05 nutrition per unit, both less than chocolate. It also has a 2% chance of food poisoning, unavoidable without the strong stomach gene. When no other factors are in play, then chocolate is a superior item. But insect jelly is lighter, with 1/3 the weight per unit. Overall, jelly has 66.7% the weight per nutrition and 26.7% weight per recreation %. The lighter weight may be useful in longer caravan trips, though with sufficient pack animals you may have enough carrying capacity for chocolate. Insect jelly is also more valuable - in the event that you need to sell things to a faction base, then jelly is superior.
However, the biggest difference between chocolate and jelly is means of acquisition. Chocolate requires both Tree Sowing and Cocoa to be researched. But once researched, it can be grown at will, so long as growing conditions are met. Meanwhile, insect jelly requires an infestation. This first requires that an overhead mountain tile is available, and then you'll have to fight and/or farm the infestation in the first place. But larger infestations can result in massive quantities of jelly.
Ultimately, which option is preferable will depend on the circumstances of each individual colony, as well as player preference. A colony in a mountain will accumulate lots of insect jelly, but find it harder to grow cocoa trees. A colony in a flat map is unlikely to face an infestation, but can grow chocolate.
Chocolate tends to be a poor cash crop. This is largely due to the cocoa tree's massive 4,400 ticks (1.22 mins) work to sow and harvest. In the time to sow 1 cocoa tree, you could've harvested and replanted 11 cotton plants. Those 11 cotton plants would be worth 15 each. Cocoa trees give 60 of chocolate per harvest, while 11 cotton plants would give 165. And because each tree requires a 3x3 space to grow, they are terrible for space efficiency, too.
- Potential niche
Cocoa trees have the highest $ / Plant Growth Day of any raw plant product, at 2.03 / growing day. However, hop plants converted into beer offers a superior 2.08 / growing day. Due to the cocoa tree's lowered Fertility Sensitivity, growing hops is even faster in rich soil. Trees would technically be better in poor soil, but if you are forced to grow in poor soil, then growing space is most likely a concern - making this scenario moot. While it takes work to convert hops into wort, if work was actually a concern, then you should grow any other crop instead. Plus, beer is superior for Value / Work unless you both have an amazing planter AND terrible cooks. Therefore, hops are a strictly superior crop at this niche.
Plus, each individual cocoa harvest grows slowly - at 29.54 days to grow, it is slower than corn. If you need cash now, then cocoa is not a consideration. This makes the previous discussion almost meaningless as cocoa is terrible at anything you would need quick money for.
- Beta 19/1.0 - Chocolate can now be produced by colonists. Previously it was exclusively a trade good.