For those of you that are not familiar with cocoa nibs, they are not to be confused with Licorice Nibs (we have received this comment a few times- true story)! They are actually the inside of a cacao bean, which is 100% chocolate! Once the cacao beans have been fermented and dried, they are roasted to aredevelop the natural aroma and flavour of the bean. Once roasted, the bean shells are removed (a process called winnowing) and the delicate inside of the bean is broken into fragments, which are the cocoa nibs.
You may have tried cocoa nibs before that were somewhat sour or astringent, but rest assured that this is not the experience of fine cocoa beans. Poor quality cocoa nibs are the result of poor quality beans, and often these inferior beans are burnt so cover the off flavours. Don’t get me wrong, the cocoa nibs are very bold in flavour, but quality beans will leave a lingering chocolate note which is amazing.
One of the added bonuses of cocoa nibs are their health benefits- they are high in fiber, are loaded with antioxidants and contain flavanoids.
Based on popular request, we now have Cocoa Nibs for sale online and at our boutiques.
Cocoa nibs have many culinary applications- here are some of our faves!
– Roll a log of goat cheese in cocoa nibs for a crunchy/creamy spread on crackers.
– In a mortar and pestle, grind cocoa nibs, freshly ground black pepper, rock salt, dried herbs and olive oil to crust a steak.
– Sprinkle over yogurt, granola or ice cream for a chocolatey crunch.
– Use the cocoa nibs in banana bread instead of nuts.
– Add some cocoa nibs to chocolate chip cookies for additional chocolate goodness.
– Add to any summer salad with a bright citrus vinegrette.
Please share your creative ideas for cocoa nib applications. We always love hearing about new recipes!