For many years my sister and I have been following the trends of cocoa nibs. Several Thanksgivings ago (I think 2006) my sister and I spent days flipping through cooking magazines in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I was interested in making chocolate truffles for my upcoming Christmas party and ran into an interesting recipe for chocolate truffles rolled in cocoa nibs. At this point, we had no idea what a cocoa nib actually was – to be honest I still don’t exactly know. According to gourmetslueth.com, “Cacao Nibs are perfectly roasted cocoa beans separated from their husks and broken into small bits. They are the essence of chocolate. Nibs add crunchiness and subtle chocolate flavor to baked goods and savory dishes.”
On our way back west to Greensboro we decided we would stop by Southern Season in Chapel Hill and pick up some cocoa nibs. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Southern Season but they can be a little snooty about things. When we asked the Chocolateir (I’m being very generous with this title) if he had cocoa nibs he told us they didn’t exist! We laughed claiming that we had read about cocoa nibs in a magazine and that they certainly had to exist! We left without cocoa nibs and a good story.
My sister called me a couple months ago with good news – cocoa nibs do in fact exist and they live in Denver, CO! She found them at Savory Spice Shop in Denver and brought them all the way across the US for our Thanksgiving dessert – Dark Chocolate Pie with Cocoa Nib Praline from Bon Appetite Magazine. I highly recommend trying this pie for a holiday meal. If the butter overload pie crust is overwhelming you could certainly use another recipe for pie crust. But what are the holidays without 10 tablespoons of butter for only the crust?