1

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Has anyone tried raw organic cacao beans? What do they taste like?

Answered on April 14, 2016
Created February 23, 2012 at 8:56 PM

I found a couple brands online, but don't know if they are any good. Please let me know what they taste like. Are they even edible?

http://www.amazon.com/Live-Superfoods-Organic-Cacao-Beans/dp/B001VLV61Y

Thanks!

46e26de2b8985a4687adb96d3b8aec2d

on October 14, 2014
at 04:10 AM

A few things to note: The flavor of cacao is affected by elevation, temperature, humidity, rainfall, crops grown nearby (often coffee or fruit), and etc. Each origin is different and unique. For instance, if you are looking for a real powerhouse on the palate I recommend cacao from Madagascar. It has spicy, pepper, floral, and fruity notes. If you like it a little more savory (umami) with deep nutty notes I would recommend a good cacao from the Dominican Republic. You can't go wrong when you can find locally roasted cacao beans. I recommend the beans vs. the nibs because they are easier to eat on the go and healthier (lots of nutrients in the shell). I take them with me in the car and on my long runs in the mountains. Just some advice from a chocolate maker who is crazy about nutrition and living the good life. 

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on April 22, 2012
at 10:31 PM

Different. But I have already tried them. Do you think I should close this thread?

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 22, 2012
at 07:12 PM

Yeah, roasted taste wayyy way better than raw.

Ec7cb2a7a68655954a01f03e95be1383

(1453)

on February 28, 2012
at 10:22 PM

VB, they taste bitter and sour, with an almost non-existent touch of chocolate.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 24, 2012
at 02:32 AM

I'm cramming them into the USB port one by one, hopefully coming your way soon ;)

Medium avatar

(19469)

on February 23, 2012
at 11:28 PM

VB, thank you for your compliment, it is much appreciated! When I write my cookbook I'll be sure to include you in the credits :)

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 23, 2012
at 10:14 PM

Happy Now - I'll take them :)

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 23, 2012
at 10:13 PM

Thanks for your comment.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 23, 2012
at 10:12 PM

Fed, you sound like one hell of a writer! I haven't seen poetic language like this in a while. Maybe you should consider writing a cookbook for the connoisseurs and poets among us - I am still not over your definition of a "lingering pungency" that you have so skillfully noticed. In awe, VB.

Medium avatar

(19469)

on February 23, 2012
at 09:43 PM

I agree that roasting is probably a good idea as it would help neutralize some of the toxins and antinutrients.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 23, 2012
at 09:33 PM

You can have mine. I paid and arm and a leg for a half pound bag about a year ago, we still have most of it. It was an intriguingly bitter and nicely crunchy snack for the first few days, but it made my mouth feel odd after that. "Superfood" or not, I felt like the anti-nutrients might be winning out over the nutrients posted on the side of the bag. I've come to the conclusion that there is wisdom in roasting the beans before consuming them.

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16 Answers

4
D290734f36a9ae03e3f60e0fa088d7ed

(1304)

on February 24, 2012
at 02:02 AM

I'm not sure what you mean by "raw organic cacao beans," but I have had nibs and I would advise people away from them. I had thought they would be quite similar to 100% cacao bars but they are not. 100% cacao bars are a slightly processed (horror!) version of plain cacao beans, but the processing is worth it. Nibs are bitter - rather than taste like chocolate they're more like eating slightly chocolatey twigs. I wanted to like them - badly. I buy into the paleo stuff, I know they're good for me, they're just not...good... They are tolerable, but there are so many other, better things you could eat that would provide the same antioxidant boost.

Stick to 100% cacao chocolate bars. A bar has all the nutritional benefit of nibs but without the bitterness and the "why am I doing this to myself" feeling as you pop a few more.

Try them, though, because people have widely varying opinions. Try buying a small bag, though.

4
Medium avatar

(19469)

on February 23, 2012
at 09:39 PM

I've never tried "raw" cacao beans before (I think that even the "raw" products are fermented and dried before being sold), but I do enjoy roasted cacao nibs ("raw" beans that have been smashed up and roasted a bit).

I use them in all sorts of foods and like their strong flavor. Eaten plain there is a rich chocolate taste, but there is also a lingering pungency from the fermentation. It can only be described as "volatile", sort of like the sweetness of a strong liquor.

Unsweetened Baker's chocolate, and unsweetened Hershey's cocoa powder (the natural undutched kind) are my other chocolate vices, so I REALLY like chocolate. If you are a milk chocolate person, pure products like raw beans or nibs might be a bit overwhelming and may be better tolerated mixed into other foods like smoothies.

I actually like to make a "cereal" of sorts with cacao nibs and other goodies like shredded coconut and macadamia nuts...

has-anyone-tried-raw-organic-cacao-beans?-what-do-they-taste-like?

(full recipe here)

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 23, 2012
at 10:12 PM

Fed, you sound like one hell of a writer! I haven't seen poetic language like this in a while. Maybe you should consider writing a cookbook for the connoisseurs and poets among us - I am still not over your definition of a "lingering pungency" that you have so skillfully noticed. In awe, VB.

Medium avatar

(19469)

on February 23, 2012
at 11:28 PM

VB, thank you for your compliment, it is much appreciated! When I write my cookbook I'll be sure to include you in the credits :)

2
361e96d70d6d3b91d63f6ad975e60ab6

(840)

on April 22, 2012
at 09:05 PM

I had a terrible experience with them - overdosed and was VERY sick. (They are totally fine if you aren't crazy like me)

However, I thank that experience, now I gag at all chocolate / cocoa. But I love white chocolate / cocoa butter.

1
162fb960b3da48e4f23b43d489c4c255

on March 16, 2013
at 03:15 PM

Eric: a cacao bean contains 50% of cocoa butter and 50% of solid materials. The powder you are refering to is those solid materials. To get to the powder, you need to grind the cacao beans into a paste (called cacao licor or cacao mass), and use a press to take away the butter.

1
B1d3dfe470ba901b2b107545b923b024

(184)

on April 23, 2012
at 10:05 AM

i eat them instead of nuts, unlike nuts though you can't eat them by the handful so it stops me from going overboard

1
Cbda678b2a6bf0537d8c4ea0ce8aa9ad

(4319)

on April 22, 2012
at 07:55 PM

I am not sure what we are dealing with in this thread. I eat raw organic fair-trade cocoa powder. Is that what is being discussed. How far is it from a cocoa bean to the powder when ground?

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on April 22, 2012
at 10:31 PM

Different. But I have already tried them. Do you think I should close this thread?

1
7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on April 22, 2012
at 05:44 PM

I nibble on roasted organic cacao nibs from Taza: http://www.tazachocolate.com/store/Products/8ozRoastNibs

I think they're tasty, potent, and a good way to get my chocolate fix without the sugar. I don't taste bitter, though, so maybe that's why I like the way they taste.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on April 22, 2012
at 07:12 PM

Yeah, roasted taste wayyy way better than raw.

1
Eead82aa93bbcdada0bcd817d0952e58

(214)

on April 22, 2012
at 05:31 PM

I have some from Essential Living brand and I absolutely love them- but then again I have not had any sugar of any kind for over a year so I am adapted to like the bitterness from raw cocoa and 100% chocolate. They do not trigger compulsive eating and satisfy any craving or feeling of dissatisfaction I sometimes get after meals. Yummy trick I've discovered so far- dip them in coconut oil :)

1
6940861cac97f6382beacdb670612612

on February 28, 2012
at 09:04 PM

Raw cacao beans, IMHO, is not a taste most people can acquire. If they are truly raw and not fermented or very unfermented, you will have a very astringent bean. Like others post here, they would be much better mixed into a smoothie or some other food to mask the flavors.

1
B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on February 23, 2012
at 10:42 PM

i love dark unsweetened chocolate but the nibs did nothing for me until i ground them up with a frozen banana and some coconut milk. also great in fudge babies instead of using cocoa powder.

1
De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on February 23, 2012
at 09:22 PM

I've tried nibs before. By themselves, they aren't very good but are good as a replacement for chocolate chips.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 23, 2012
at 10:13 PM

Thanks for your comment.

0
Medium avatar

on April 14, 2016
at 07:17 PM

Unroasted cacao, to me, has a "thinner" taste. Roasted cocoa is richer. I also agree with another poster's comment that raw cacao can also taste astringent.

Then again, it could also vary by brand, and my tastebuds have also changed. I much prefer the taste of carob to chocolate now.

0
E5fd0181a602289d6a4b0d12ddd444ac

on April 13, 2016
at 05:26 PM

Try Nora's Plantation Foods roasted cacao nibs.  These are whole hand winnowed roasted nibs for snacking and adding to smoothies, banking or others recipes. Single origin Samoan cacao is heavily Criollo meaning that they are flavourful and smooth in taste.  Yes, roasted is definitely better if eaten as a snack.

0
46e26de2b8985a4687adb96d3b8aec2d

on October 14, 2014
at 03:56 AM

Dirt. Plain and simple. Lackluster. Flavor is developed via fermentation and futhermore from roasting cacao. Also, the genetics of the bean also plays a big factor on the flavor potential. The majority of cacao grown and available in the marketplace is Forastero (90%). It typically has bitter notes. Most people have only tasted Forastero (and they often hate it). The remaining 10% is a mix of Trinitario and rare Criollo cacao. These beans pack amazing flavor. If you want the best cacao beans then I recommend you find a local chocolate maker and they could probabaly point you in the right direction. And remember there is no certification for raw cacao (you are basically trusting the manufacturer). And always ask, "who's the famer?"

0
67871ef2326f29da48f1522827fc0f80

(704)

on June 26, 2013
at 01:55 PM

I buy roasted and ground nibs and use it just like cocoa powder (add a pinch of salt and sweetener -- you really have to use some; I find Stevia concentrate, which is ONLY stevia, works okay).

If I hadn't bought a pound, I'd be happier. Maybe try a smaller amount if you can find it to save money?

0
21563f905fa51c260a4df1f47e2d4ce9

on June 26, 2013
at 12:52 PM

Love them. Mix them with yogurt, almonds, dried cranberries and granola and they add a nice kick!

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