Organic World Berries Cacao Nibs
Weight: .25 oz. (7 g.) / 6 oz. (168 g.) in total package
Calories: 32.5 calories for 1/4 oz. (7 g.) serving
Cost: $8.59 for 1 package
Purchased from: Five Seasons Whole Foods Market, Ocean Springs, MS
Today was Day #6 of Cocoa Nibs Theme Week.
I picked up these organic, raw World Berries cacao nibs from FunFresh Foods (Park City, UT) at a small health foods market a few years back in Mississippi.
Raw "vs." Roasted Nibs
How are raw nibs different than roasted cacao nibs? As you might expect, certain nutrients might be preserved by less processing. (However, some believe roasting helps kill any pathogens that might be present.) And raw nibs have a slightly different flavor profile than roasted ribs.
For example, today's World Berries nibs had a nice chocolatey flavor, and more floral and "green" notes These, and other more "volatile" or subtle flavor notes, can be lost in the roasting process. I would be happy eating these plain, or adding them to other dishes and desserts.
The Worldwide Reach of Nibs
What struck me today was the word "World" in World Berries. Our food supply chains today are complex and offer us many options. Cacao (aka Cocoa) Nibs from South America (Peru in this case), might be used to make truffles in Canada, or chocolate bars in London. Or I, as an individual consumer, might buy just the raw nibs in a store in Mississippi. Our distribution food webs still amaze me.
Great Nibs = Great Chocolate
I felt obliged to enjoy a few finished chocolates from two chocolate makers (who make chocolate from scratch) across the globe. Bean-to-bar makers start with beans (or in some cases unroasted nibs). Each batch of beans yields important information for a maker that helps determine roasting and/or conching times for the ideal or desired end product.
Today I previewed a small chocolate bar from House of Dorchester (a bean-to-bar maker in London) with packaging that referenced a May 13, 1956 Grand Prix race. (Hats off to my friends who enjoy Formula One racing, and who are watching a race this weekend.)
I also sampled two very fine single origin truffles from Madagascar and Papua New Guinea from SOMA Chocolatemaker, which I'll feature at some point in the future. Both truffles were full of balanced fruit flavors (berries, citrus and raisin toast notes in the former, and smokey cherry in the latter.) All these flavors were developed or coaxed from the beans.
You can't make fine chocolate without great beans/nibs and skilled chocolate makers.