The Chocolate Life

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I've been playing with nibs a lot lately, trying them from several different sources, and have found that each one has very distinct flavor notes: Valrhona - quite bitter, sometimes almost burnt tasting; ScharffenBerger - sweeter with hints of sour fruit; Theo - a blend with some bitter and some slightly fruity; DeVries - quite sour, though his caramelized nibs are addictive.

What I have been wondering is why all of these companies do "origin" chocolates with the idea that the origin will give you an idea of the flavors to expect, but no one seems to do "origin" nibs. Nibs are offered as nibs with no indication of varietal or origin, as though nibs only come in nib flavor.

I am "fondeur" (sp?) and work with about 25 different chocolates to get the flavor notes I want for different things. I love doing tastings and watching the wonder grow in people as the start to understand that chocolate isn't just "chocolate" flavored. I know nothing about the "bean to bar" side of chocolate, and am in awe of the entire process, so I was hoping someone could help me understand what seems to be a gap in the market.


Tags: flavor, nibs, origin

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Cluizel's nibs are single plantation, from Los Ancones on Santo Domingo,,, however they do not offer nibs from other plantations, so the origin of them seems more incidental than part of a larger nib origin plan.

I do believe that Askinosie is offering nibs of various origins, but I've not really cared for any of their products, so this information is based on a vague recollection of something I saw while looking for something else. ;) You'd be well served to check it out yourself.

Really, the nib market is pretty limited... it's hard enough to find nibs in general, much less as different flavors and the final use of nibs reflect as much.. they are used as decorations and to sometimes add texture, but little else.
Coppeneur produces organic nibs from Plantation Menavava in Madagascar (Trinitario Beans) and organic nibs from Plantation Hacienda Iara in Ecuador (Nacional Arriba Beans). The flavour characteristics of the Menavava nibs and Hacienda Iara nibs are unique.
Amano has a wide selection of origin nibs.


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