Sunday, May 4, 2014

Askinosie Chocolate - a trip from Missouri to Ecuador

I had been waiting to try Askinosie Chocolate for a very long time. And I was beginning to think that I would have to wait until I finally go to visit a friend who lives in Missouri, where the chocolate maker is located. But suddenly, a local café & restaurant started selling a few bars of Askinosie chocolate and I was delighted.  So I purchased a Toasted Happy Hemp Seeds chocolate bar and an Ecuador 70% Dark Chocolate.

I loved the Hemp bar for its crunchiness, which contrasted the smooth chocolate that lay under the hemp seeds.

With the 70% Ecuadorian bar, I used The Chocolate Tasting Kit to assist with identifying and describing the flavours, and I found it to have a mix of fruity, woody, and smoky flavours with a nice roasted finish. Askinosie offers their own list of the flavours on the back of the bar that one might taste (see photo to the right), which was more specific than I could be. 

The chocolate maker, Shawn Askinosie, has long been known to do great things for the people who grow the cacao that is the heart and soul of their chocolate. They believe in direct trade with the farmers, which means paying fair prices and getting top quality cocoa beans. And they go one step further by profit-sharing with their farmers.  What's more, they include the community by providing learning experiences to local elementary and middle school students. They also accept applicants from the local high school for their annual Chocolate University, where the group of accepted applicants take a trip to Tanzania, to learn about growing cacao, culture and making chocolate (secretly every year I wish I was in high school again so I could apply to this chocolate university!)

I have developed respect for Askinosie's philosophies over the last few years and now that I've tasted it, I've also developed respect for their chocolate.  It was smooth and delicious, and clearly a quality bean-to-bar chocolate product.

For more information on this chocolate maker and their products, visit the website:

I purchased these chocolate bars in downtown Sudbury, Ontario at the Fromagerie Elgin.

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