Searching for the Ideal Chocolate
Do I look for the Ideal Chocolate? I think so and to be honest this is very difficult to do so, for me there's no Ideal Chocolate! I like quitte many good and fine chocolate and this is personal but the best chocolate does not exist, there are always new chocolate bars to discover, happy me!!!
My latest discovering is Askinosie, Missouri-made chocolate we've been getting from Shawn Askinosie, down in the unlikely spot of Springfield U.S.A.
Shawn Askinosie was for many years a leading defense attorney. Now he and his staff are producing fine chocolate from scratch, with pure cocoa beans. They start with unique source beans and prepare their own cocoa butter, cocoa syrup, etc.
Some time ago I was having a whole new experience with a rustic kind of chocolate, I must admit it was not a whole new discovering, I hade already tasted the Felchlin "100 years" anniversairy chocolate Centenario Crudo 70% a real delight if you like the old style of Couvertures.
Felchlin selected the finest cacaos for the production of the Centenario couvertures. First of all, the cacao beans growing wild in the lowlands of Beni (Bolivia), then Criollos from the Maracaibo (Venezuela) and smeraldas (Ecuador) areas. The cacao beans were roasted separately according to their origin. Also the cacao liquors were produced individually. The two Centenario couvertures contain the same raw materials. The difference is to be found in the processing.
Back to Askinosie and to El Rustico, the cacao for this bar comes from the Soconusco region of Mexico, an area that's been known for excellence in chocolate since the time of the Aztecs. Although it'd fallen out of favor for many centuries, Shawn has led the way back to getting great cacao from small farmers there, going down and spending weeks working with the growers on all aspects of their work. The bar is only lightly ground by most chocolate standards. Very special and unique on the bar are the mix snippets of really good organic vanilla bean into the chocolate bar and this is amazingly good.
El Rustico means "the rustic one." I really like that it's a little rough (literally) in texture, but that its flavor is as big, bold, and really good as anything that might be considered more refined. The sugar crystals will crunch and melt on your tongue as you eat.
Some other Askinosie we follow in our shop and to discover are:
70% San Jose Del Tambo, Ecuador Dark Chocolate Bar
“…the very best chocolate bar made in America.”
Jim White, Food Critic (Napaman.com)
Jim White, Food Critic (Napaman.com)
Bright bergamot, red raspberry, and cardamom with long lasting citrus notes.
70% San Jose Del Tambo, Ecuador Dark Chocolate Nibble™ Bar
San Jose Del Tambo, at least 200-years-old, is situated in the foothills ofthe Andes Mountains. It is said that the Quechua Indians used this little village as a resting place before journeying further into the Andes. At Del Tambo, the hills rise sharply until the tops are obscured by low-hanging clouds. The Rio de San Miguela, a fast-flowing river, along with just the right climate provides the land for some of the best cocoa in the world. The centuries-famous Ecuador Ariba flavor is found in these beans.
72% Tenende, Tanzania Dark Chocolate Bar
**AS FEATURED IN O, OPRAH MAGAZINE**
This mild bar has earthy notes with hints of tobacco and dried cherries and has a very smooth finish.
This dark chocolate bar is made with cocoa beans from Tenende, Tanzania. This bar is a Chocolate University Project, a neighborhood outreach program in Springfield, Missouri that inspires students about small business and social responsibility.
Dark Milk Chocolate Bar made with 62% Cocoa + Fleur de Sel
Special about this dark milk chocolate bar its made with cocoa beans from Davao, Philippines and contains 62% cocoa liquor. They add organic sugar, goat's milk powder and a touch of Fleur de Sel sea salt. This bar is dark enough to satisfy your dark chocolate craving with a smooth and rich finish.
This bar won a Silver Award from the London Academy of Chocolate in 2011 for Best Bean to Bar Milk Chocolate!
Next time I have to order the white chocolate bars, they are to good not to order, so we have a new goal to go for ;-)
Shawn Askinosie, small-batch bean to bar chocolate maker, talks about the adventure of chocolate making