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Customer Review

75 of 84 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought they were bad at first, September 1, 2009
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This review is from: Navitas Naturals Organic Raw Cacao Nibs, 16-Ounce Pouches (Pack of 2) (Grocery)
85% was the darkest chocolate I could find until Lindt's new 90% (I think they need to fine-tune it with a version 2.0. It seems a bit rich/gummy) Ghiradelli's 100% bar for baking is smooth, and I can eat, but man, how happy would many of us be with a 95% Dove bar!

Enter Cocoa nibs: Why not "eliminate the middle man" and go straight to the source - the cocoa beans themselves? Get the cocoa taste I love so much, but without the processing, added fat, etc. Plus, hey, no processing leaves more of the antioxidents & nutrients.

Day of arrival and I'm excited. I opened them immediately and saw a bunch of nuggets that looked just like chocolate. So, I stuck my nose in the bag, and it wiped the smile right off my face. It smelled sort of musty, and of vinegar. Like bad wine. Eating them proved no better. So, I put them down and tried them later. Again the next day, and so on.

Disappointed is an understatement to say the least. I've got 2 lbs of this stuff and I'm not one to waste food. Did I mention that I'm out $28? What the heck happened? I read that if beans weren't fermented long enough, they could smell like this. I've not compared to other nibs, but thought maybe this is the case. I was looking for that familiar cocoa smell & flavor, yet wasn't finding it. And how strange that there are so few written references to actual flavor and smell!

All ends well. I realized that these are raw (yes, I know, "duh" you say). But, I didn't truly make the connection. Cocoa beans need to be roasted. They WANT to be roasted. And I believe they'll thumb their nose at any purist snob that discredits roasting solely for any "loss of nutritional benefits" (and so will I, so save your comments).

Conclusion: If you haven't yet done so, get crazy and live on the wild side! Place a thin layer on a cookie sheet, then in the oven. I've done two roasts: 350* at 18 minutes and 275* at 15 minutes. I prefer the latter, but experimenting is half the fun. Oh yeah, don't forget to peek inside around the 8 minute mark...smells sort of like warm brownies! Got to go, I've made myself hungry!
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