[Sca-cooks] cacao nibs

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Mon Aug 25 06:31:38 PDT 2008

On Aug 25, 2008, at 3:10 AM, Dragon wrote:

> Just be aware that they are very bitter and are not going to taste  
> anything like what you think chocolate should taste like.
> This does not mean they are "bad", just not what you are likely to  
> expect. Remember that chocolate as we know it today is a very  
> different product that is much more highly processed than it was  
> when it was originally brought to Europe.
> I have never personally used cacao nibs, I have tasted them, but I  
> have yet to experiment. They are gritty in texture and like I said,  
> very bitter but also very aromatic. A lot of the flavors we  
> associate with chocolate are either not present in the nibs because  
> they have not fully developed (they require further processing to  
> come out) or they are subdued due to lack of sweetness and  
> additional cocoa butter to transport them to the tongue.

The nibs I've got on hand in the freezer don't seem very gritty to me.  
Perhaps there's a crunch from the outer husk or shell portions, but it  
never seemed like a big issue for me; but then I've been known to eat  
coffee beans, too, so perhaps my bar for informed tolerance of  
otherwise-perceived-as-unpleasant things is set at a different height.  
To me, the mouth feel is quite similar to that of chopped macadamia or  
Brazil nuts.

Similarly, they also don't seem very bitter to me; from what I can  
tell, they've got enough fat in them that the mouth gets somewhat  
coated, and the worst of the bitterness doesn't get through. I'd  
describe the sensation as more "unexpectedly not sweet" than bitter,  
and as most of our sense of taste is in fact an offshoot of our sense  
of smell, it's not surprising that something so aromatic should have a  
flavor of something besides alkaloids.

It almost sounds as if you're describing Dutch-processed cocoa.

But viva la difference and all like that...


"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls,  
when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's  
			-- Rabbi Israel Salanter

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