Are Cacao Nibs Bitter? (EXPLAINED)

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are cacao nibs bitter

Question of the Day: Are cacao nibs bitter?

Quick Answer: Cacao nibs, or little pieces of cacao beans that have been crushed, have a bitter though chocolaty flavor. The bitterness is a natural flavor of the raw cacao, or cocoa, which is harvested, fermented, and smashed into bits (aka, cacao nibs).

Why do Cacao Nibs Taste so Bitter?

Cacao nibs generally taste bitter because they have zero sugar or other artificial sweeteners added to them. Milk chocolate and other sweet chocolates that we are used to have sugar, milk, and other ingredients added to balance out or overpower the bitterness.

How do You Make Cacao Nibs Taste Good?

The secret to making cacao nibs taste less bitter is toasting them (similarly to how you roast nuts). Once slightly roasted, the best flavor is activated. Toasted cacao nibs taste smoother, sweeter, and less bitter.

What Can I Use to Replace Cacao Nibs?

If you prefer something other than cacao nibs, or simply are missing them from your on-hand ingredients at the moment, you can use:

  • toasted walnuts
  • semi-sweet chips of chocolate
  • roasted cocoa beans