Askinosie, one of my favorite bean-to-bar chocolate makers, has recently released two new chocolate bars to their already impressive lineup. While I have purchased several of their items on multiple occasions, I was lucky enough to have received these two new bars to try thanks to Lawren Askinosie.
First up is Askinosie’s 61% Tanzania Dark Chocolate + Avocado & Rosemary Bar, for which Askinosie has partnered with Heath Ceramics to create. Rosemary is one of those ingredients that can easily overpower other flavors, however, Askinosie did a great job balancing the flavors in this bar!
Shawn Askinosie has been making craft chocolate for over a decade now, but he was originally a criminal defense lawyer and back in 2005 Shawn switched to bean-to-bar chocolate making. Askinosie Chocolate is located in Springfield, Missouri. This bean-to-bar chocolate factory sources 100% of their beans directly from the farmers with Shawn Askinoise making frequent trips right to the source of the beans in Ecuador, Tanzania, and the Philippines.
I recently got to have an amazing conversation with Shawn Askinoise for the purpose of this interview. Despite being a bit under the weather, Shawn was extremely generous with his time. I could have asked him a 1,000 questions, but did my best to limit them down to a two-part blog interview. Shawn Askinosie has such a positive approach to life, is involved in several projects to truly make a difference in children lives (more on that in part 2), has a huge depth of knowledge of craft chocolate and all that is involved with it and still somehow manages to remain extremely humble at the same time.
The pouch this bar comes in is made by Trappist Monks (the order was founded in 1098, so 1,098 bars), the cocoa butter is from the Philippines, and is from the first pressing (which gives it the “dirty” white), the cocoa nibs are aged for two years, and covered in chocolate (the nibs, and chocolate are from Tanzania). And this bar has goat’s milk in it. Talk about complex!
When it comes to white chocolate things have definitely changed! I’m talking single-origin, and first pressed cacao butter, not adding vanilla, and so on.
WKND Chocolate’s Turmeric of a Goat Thing is an inclusion bar with turmeric, etc, added. However, when I mention what I “taste” in the other bars that is the expression of the cocoa butter, milk, sugar coming through, and not added ingredients.
Re-think what you know about white chocolate and check out my video.