Cocoa Beans - Who Knew?
I love chocolate. Hardcore. And look, I know a lot of people love chocolate. It's not that original or anything, so I'm just stating a fact. And I discovered something so great this week:
Whole cocoa beans! They were in a bulk bin at the local organic food co-op. Which means they are organic whole cocoa beans. Bonus. They are about the size of almonds.
I picked one out of the bin and thought, "I wonder what the heck you're supposed to do with these?" And I did what every curious foodie does, I bit into it. Eureka! So that's where those popular "cocoa nibs" come from!
I bought some and brought them home, where I crushed them a little and removed the outer skins. Now I have a pile of pure, organic cocoa nibs.
Chocolate at its purest. It's not sweet at this point, of course, but is slightly bitter and very cocoa-y. I have a friend who uses the nibs in his chocolate mousse - a great counterbalance to the sweetness and richness of the mousse. I happen to like just eating them as they are, but I might try using them in baking or roasting them.
Who needs a 86% cocoa chocolate bar when you can have a mouthfull of 100% coco bean?