11.2.10 Just Askin'

Bar 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife
Forgive me, readers, for I have sinned. Somehow I neglected to tell you about one of my favorite treats. I do like having secret sources, but this one is too good not to share. Askinosie is a bean-to-bar chocolate operation based in, of all places, Springfield, Missouri. (No, not all groovy handcrafted chocolate is from the new Brooklyn.) The owner, Shawn Askinosie, had a sort of chocolate epiphany in 2005 and got really distracted from his career as a criminal defense attorney. He studied cocoa post-harvest techniques in the Amazon rain forest and worked in a chocolate factory in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and the result is a very interesting company that is not at all pretentious despite its sophistication. They seek out farmers in Latin America, really understand the beans and process them into award-winning bars at their factory located in a historic building from 1894. Not only is their single-origin dark chocolate some of the best I've ever sampled, but they also do a Soconusco White Chocolate bar made from non-deodorized cocoa butter and goat's milk powder that is studded with pistachios; a Dark Milk Chocolate with Fleur de Sel; and their new Malted Moo Moo Dark Milk Chocolate Bar, with the robust, funky flavor of malt that I find totally irresistible. (Full disclosure: Shawn just mailed me one of these to try after I sent the family chocoholic an Askinosie gift certificate for his recent birthday.)
Package 790 xxx
their whole identity is really well conceived and executed
In addition to having exceptional chocolate, the company has a wonderful story to tell, all expressed through clever writing, great graphics and very cool packaging. Please check out their website to read and learn more about their commitment to worthy causes. (Even if their exquisite treats are the real reason you pay them a visit!)
Bite 790 xxx
turns out the malted moo moo is rather delicious


I have yet to find chocolate that I really go nuts over. My grandmother always had a bar of Cadbury's Fruit & Nut handy for me (despite my mother's protests), and I was spoiled consistently by my ex's aunt with pralines and truffles from Suteria in Solothurn (Switzerland) as we turned our noses up and laughed at Lindt. I was just on the Suteria website and I'm tempted to place an order for the holidays. (http://www.suteria.ch/index.asp?l=4&p=1). I will be seeking out Askinosie, too, for more domestic pleasures.
Vetivresse on November 4, 2010 at 7:35 am —
I have quite a weakness for Cadbury's Fruit & Nut myself! Not to mention my ultimate childhood indulgence--See's! Nuts and chews forever. Too bad you have to speak German to shop online from Suteria, but I'll keep it in mind next time I'm in Switzerland...
laura on November 4, 2010 at 3:51 pm —