In late 2014, I was unfamiliar with the name Askinosie. Upon entering a local chocolate & gelato shop, I had noticed a metal canister of cocoa nibs on a shelf. It wasn’t clear to me if this was for sale or just for décor, so I took a picture to research further. After that, I was more aware of their products at other shops around town. Their chocolate bars typically feature the faces and bios of different farmers around the world, but I was never really tempted to buy one. Then, I started hearing and reading about Shawn Askinosie and his commitment, dedication and passion to making a positive impact in the world by sourcing ingredients directly from farmers around the globe. If you are interested in learning more, here is one of the articles that I read: http://www.chocolatenoise.com/askinosie-chocolate/
It was after I saw an Instagram post about an inclusion bar in their collaBARation line that I knew that Askinosie would represent the first letter in my Eating the Chocolate Alphabet series!
Their simple, eco-friendly and biodegradable brown paper packaging belies the exceptional chocolate hidden within the easy to open sleeve. The rustic twine tie used to keep the package closed at the top comes from a bag of beans that was shipped to their factory, recycling at its best!
I liked that the inner packaging was clear plastic (and that it’s home compostable) so that I could immediately see both sides of the bar: the 18 shiny squares with letters spelling “askinosie chocolate” on one side and the generous inclusion side on the other. Living up to the bar’s name, there was a cascade of lightly toasted, shredded coconut that escaped upon opening the package, creating “A Beautiful Mess” seen in these photos.This is a 65% dark chocolate bar made from Mababu, Tanzania beans + coconut sugar + toasted coconut. I was drooling from the aroma while I was taking photos! The chocolate is smooth, has a nice snap, and is also sweetly complex while having a creamy mouthfeel. This all pairs well with the chewiness of the coconut flakes.
Now I’m on a mission to find a bar from their limited release “1098” line!
Check out https://www.askinosie.com/ for lots more information on the journey of this chocolate + the history behind one of Forbes’ 25 Best Small Companies in America.
What are some of YOUR favorite Askinosie bars? Let me know what you think!