Sunday, October 26, 2014

Simon Coll: Cacao Nibs

I have a weakness for containers. I know this; I try to combat it. When I was choosing some tea at one of the gift shops in the Petrified Forest last month, I kept myself from getting the one that came in a (somewhat flimsy) little wooden box that I knew I didn't need. But when I saw this tin of cacao nibs from Simon Coll, well, I pounced on it.

Isn't it so gorgeous, though? A white base holds the trunk of a cacao tree on the back, with its vines spreading to the rest of the tin. They're all covered in red and yellow cacao pods, and there's even a green bird off to one side. The lid and bottom of the tin are dark brown. Perhaps even more than a bar of chocolate's wrappings, it matters that a tin like this be good-looking. Something like this you can carry/keep with you in your purse, briefcase, car, desk, or wherever. (I am a big proponent of keeping candy and chocolate at my desk, though I remain quite a thin person.) So if you're carrying something around, you want it to look nice.

I never have much new to say when reviewing nibs. They're either good or not, and then there is nothing more to say. These nibs are covered in 70% cacao chocolate grown in Ghana. While I realize that 70% isn't usually considered sweet, in terms of nibs, this chocolate gives sweetness to the overall effect. Nibs are, of course, pure cacao with nothing added to them, so they are not sweet and they are quite strong (not just in taste, also in terms of how much of a chocolate hit they give you). So they're more pleasant coated in chocolate. I want to say the ration for each piece is half nib and half chocolate; you really get a chance to taste both.

First your teeth softly sink through the chocolate, then they hit the cacao nib. Nibs have wonderful texture, absolutely distinctive and not quite like anything else. It's lighter than the crunch of a nut, but also more jagged. The result? A sophisticated desk or purse snack. And Simon Coll makes a nice tin of just such a chocolate hit. That makes my third product from this company a third success.

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