Cocoa nibs are nothing more than broken chunks of cocoa bean. The word “cocoa” is an Anglicization of the Mayan word “cacao.” Some people make the distinction that it should be called cacao until sugar is added, but most people use the terms interchangeably.
Cocoa nibs are roasted to help separate them from the pods, to protect them from bacteria and to mellow and sweeten the flavour. They are terrific munched as a low-carb snack or added to baked goods. They are crunchy and nutty, with a bittersweet chocolate flavour. They are also extremely high in anti-oxidants.