Askinosie Chocolate

I’ve been a tad remiss in doing a write-up about one of the newest American chocolate-makers: Askinosie. When I heard about them, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some bars of their bars. The only problem was that I wolfed them down too-quickly, before I could even write ‘em up.

askinosie

Then I’d heard in the news (the chocolate news, which I read rabidly…is there any kind of news?) that they’ve been making a white chocolate bar that’s made from non-deodorized cocoa butter and goat’s milk, instead of the traditional cows milk. As someone who likes white chocolate, and enjoys the tang of goat milk, this sounds like heaven to me.

In my 89 Random Things About Me, #3 was that I thought small-batch chocolate makers summed up all of the best qualities of America, most notably the eagerness to do something different and improve something, making it even better than before.


Shawn Askinoise was a criminal defense lawyer before turning chocolate-maker and he wasn’t the first, but is one of the few actively doing it. My tasting notes have vanished, but I remembered like it was yesterday how his Nibble bars riddled with almost too-many roasted cocoa nibs embedded deeply into the side, was my idea of a great chocolate bar.

Luckily I’ve got a little bag of their natural, single-origin cocoa powder that I’ve been saving for something special, and I don’t want it to become too good to use, and hopefully I’ll put it to good use soon.

In the meantime, I’m dreaming about that white chocolate. Oh yeah, and about the (Aski-) Noshie Bar; crunchy cocoa nib shortbread, homemade salted caramel, and enrobed in dark chocolate. Which would be anything but too good to use around here, I assure you.

Askinosie Chocolate
514 E. Commercial
Springfield, MO 65803

(Their website is a really fun read and there’s lots of well-written information about how cacao is harvested and how they make their chocolate. Especially interesting is the information about their relationship with the growers and how they address environmental concerns.)

Related Links:

Taza Chocolate

Patric Chocolate

Theo Chocolate

Choxie Chocolate

Domori Chocolate

Robert Steinberg

Pocket Coffee Haiku

Chocolatiers and Chocolate-Makers

Chocolate FAQs

The Best Chocolate Sauce Recipe

The Easiest Chocolate Ice Cream Ever

32 comments

  • That’s awesome! I’m heading back to the States in May. My parents happen to live in Springfield, so I’ll definitley be checking out Askinosie. Thanks!

  • Meredith: Askinosie does offer factory tours and if you’ve never been to see chocolate being made, it’s an incredible experience…especially small-scale production.

  • I love that name! Askinosie: ask and nosey. Haha!
    That chocolate looks good too!

  • You’re right : it’s really a funny website ! Those white chocolate bars look good but they are very expensive…

    Cheers,

    Miette

  • I haven’t tried this chocolate – thanks for the recco!

  • Hi David!

    Chocolate news and information is always super-welcome :)
    Visit chocolate factories is an awesome experience …I’d like to have a branch of Askinoise here to taste this gorgeous chocolate!

    Cheers,
    Gera

  • What an interesting company–I very much enjoyed the website, especially the links to news clips. Thanks for sharing this gem with us.

  • I love stories about people leaving jobs for their dream. What could be a better dream but chocolate?

  • These look amazing and I am loving the packaging, but I’m not sure I can bring myself to pay $8 per bar. Although I suppose we should be supporting the little guy these days…

  • I just rang up Askinosie to ask where to find their chocolate in NYC (Food Emporium Bridgemarket and a few places in Brooklyn), and had an excellent conversation with a man who seemed to be the proprietor. He said that their chocolate was used in a Dogfish Head brew in the fall (now sold out, but re-ordered), and we talked about Bierkraft in Park Slope – I was hoping they carried Askinosie (they don’t), but they might soon! Really seems to be a lovely company, and I can’t wait to try the chocolate.

  • It’s nice to know I am not the only foodie who enjoys good white chocolate. I was under the impression that it was sort of white trash–at least that’s what my husband tells me. I like the Ritter Sport White Chocolate with Macadamias.

  • The white chocolate with salted pistachios sounds yum-o to me!

  • Kristina: White chocolate gets a bad rap. People say, “It’s not chocolate!” And they’re right, it isn’t. But neither is milk chocolate (or coffee…or camembert…or…) It’s something altogether different. I haven’t tasted the Askinosie, but I’m sure it’s much better than what people are used to.

    White chocolate ice cream is divine with sour cherry compote, fresh mint, or even just dark chocolate sauce. I also like it with tart blueberries and strawberries. It’s interesting that they use goat milk, which has a definite flavor. Next time in the states, I’m going to try to grab a bar.

    Laura: While the chocolate isn’t cheap, considering they source their cocoa beans, and manufacture a bean-to-bar tablet, I think supporting them is a worthy cause. I saw a movie last night that cost me €9.5 ($12) and the 2 hour movie is long-gone, but one of these bars lasts even longer ; )

  • I really admire the capacity of people in US to accept easily that other people make drastic career change.

    Here in france that wouldn’t be possible, or this man would have hidden his “before” activities. If they were known, people here would probably have thought that he couldn’t be good at what he does now, because he was something else before, and worse : something greater or considered socially higher.

    something like “he’s not doing what he masterizes, so this second activity is obviously not seriouly made, it’s a proof of dilettantism or that the guy is a fool or a clown, because I do not see the link between those activities. One cannot just change work like this, where does he get his knowledge for the second activity ? sure he is’nt competent and he only tries to fake it”.

    and probably people would say to each other ” do not buy chocolate here, the guy isnt a REAL chocolate maker : he was a lawyer before ! (insert here rolling eyes and tsst, tsst sound, and the surprise look of the people hearing this)”.

    this way of thinking is so stupid, even more when you know that france has a really good system of “during-all-life-formation “. I think this is a Welcome To France issue as you might say :D.

    (and I must admit that I’m totally contaminated myself (with shame) : when I read your info on facebook, I saw that you studied cinema. And my first though was ” huh ? he did not study food preparation ?! how can he be a pastry chef ?! o_o”. I had to remember that in US this is possible and that after all, deeply normal.

    (but oddly and in the contrary, in france people do think that writing can be made after or during any career, so it’s funny because I never thought ” and he is a writer too ?!” , that part seemed normal to me :D. pfff, seems that it’s difficult to escape from our culture !)

  • There are just so many chocolate brands to choose from these days, I find it hard to choose! In terms of regular chocolatiers, I can only have the dark versions, but have been impressed with the various types. I feel like I have sampled so many, yet I haven’t even tried any on your list above! Love the design of that chocolate.

  • Thanks for the post and recommendation. Can’t wait to try to chocolate.

  • A pathological chocoholic–the richer, the better–I’m wondering what would be good to make with this new find (I tend to use Sharffen Berger). Or, is it best just gobbled in pure form?

  • I love this white chocolate bar! The goat milk adds such a nice contrast to the sweetness (and it’s not too sweet to begin with, compared to other white bars). I fell in love with white chocolate again after tasting this.

  • You take the best pictures of chocolate. I can’t eat it (migraines — ugh), but I love to look at and read about chocolate, especially small-scale chocolate operations.

    I’m glad you mentioned that their website is an interesting read. They disclose how much cocoa butter is in their products, which is amazing (considering I heard somewhere that Hershey’s is pushing to lower the limit so they can use more vegetable oil instead of cocoa butter — did you tell us this?). I could hang out on chocolate websites all day….

  • I think Shawn makes incredible chocolate and it is so worth the price. Between Askinoise, Alan McClure at Patric Chocolates made in Columbia, Missouri (you could almost do a chocolate tour of Missouri if you include Christopher Elbow in Kansas City), Steve DeVries in Denver and the guys at Amano in Salt Lake City, you have the top tier of small chocolatiers in the United States. They are all single origin, small batch, handmade bars made from bean to bar.

  • This giddily disoriented euphoria goes a long way toward explaining that cake in your previous post.

  • joiei: It’d be nice if all those folks got together and made a chocolate-tasting kit, so folks could easily sample them all. Maybe they’ll read this, and do it. And if so, I think I deserve at least one of them for the idea.

    Krysalia: Actually, I make it a point to bring chocolates like this to some of the chocolate fondeurs in Paris to taste, since I don’t think they ever get a chance to taste American small-batch chocolate.

    It’s interesting that there are a couple of small-producers in France (Pralus, Bernachon, Bernard Dufoux, and others..) but their chocolate is hard to get and not widely known, except for Pralus, which is really marketing their stuff and they finally opened a shop in Paris.

    As you know, there is a touch of reluctance to change around here ; ) but the folks I let taste these chocolates are pretty appreciative.

    Tami: Now I really want to try it!

  • David, I don’t have a lot to add about the chocolate post above, except I that I love the photo, and am glad you posted on it. I also share your sentiments about small chocolate producers in the U.S., and I love good white chocolate, and cocoa nibs in my chocolate bars!

    But, I will take a bite out of the social side-topic that has been presented here in the comments section…

    Krysalia, that is so interesting! I never considered that! Gosh! I would ABSOLUTELY die under the French standard, because I bore easily – especially when I master a thing – and I move on.

    I suppose I would be considered a huge failure in France, despite all of my accomplishments (and connections), because they are in so many fields (music, food, fashion, film, television, politics, law, marketing, advertising, public relations, literature, and all aspects of the written word). I generally cringe when someone asks what I do. I have had slashes in my title (Writer/Producer/CEO), long before it was de rigueur.

    I would be pretty pissed off if folks thought I was a failure, since I have left a trail of successes behind me and have affected change – on many levels. Someone once called me a “change agent”, and I like that a heck of a lot better than the cliched “Renaissance woman” title.

    I always knew I was fortunate to be in America (even though I would rather live in France), since I am a strong-willed and outspoken female who goes for the gold and doesn’t hold back at all (some call it chutzpah), but I never realized exactly how fortunate I am – until now. Wow.

    Thank you for that, Krysalia. You woke me up, and I am humbled by the reality you have shared. I feel an even greater responsibility to make a difference, as a result.

    Cheers,

    ~ Paula

  • Oh, what a lovely surprise! My main squeeze lives in St. Louis, and I finally splurged on some Askinosie during my last visit. I savored every last bit of the White Chocolate Nibble bar and was a little droopy when it was gone.

    I live in Madison, WI, and our wonderful cheese shop, Fromagination, recently began carrying Askinosie. What an incredible surprise! I will, however, continue to buy it when I’m visiting my sweetheart in St. Louis; it’s a unique reminder of our time together.

  • Wow, what an interesting company and great product. Fantastic web site. I would like to feature them.

  • @David
    Thanks for featuring Askinosie Chocolate. I went to their site and the first thing I saw on the page was a write-up on chocolate from my country, the Philippines. I’m so proud and happy that other people are starting to discover the culinary gems of my heritage. :) Small-batch producers are common in my country, and I even have friends who make their own drinking chocolate from trees in their backyard. In fact, one of the best chocolates that I’ve used for baking and making drinks comes from a small, home-based business in my parents’ province of Bohol; no additives, no preservatives, just good, old-fashioned, smooth and smokey chocolate goodness. I’ll post a picture if we manage to get our hands on another batch. :)

    @Paula
    I liked reading your comment about being a change agent. It came at a time when I’ve been contemplating the things that I’ve done with my life and wondering what I should do next. Like you, I cringe when people ask me what I do, and yes, I’ve also had slashes in my title long before they were de rigueur. It was pretty inspiring to read your comment; you’ve reminded me that I shouldn’t be trying to become someone else’s version of me. Thanks for opening my eyes again to the endless possibilities I have to make a difference. Cheers! :)

  • I love Askinosie’s white chocolate with cacao nibs. It’s off-white, which makes me think more of the natural flavors are there. Also not very sweet.

  • Ah…looks good~ Big chocolate fan!

    Quick question, when baking, do you prefer chocolate or cocoa powder?

  • Hi!
    I tried your recipe chocolatte biscotti.
    Was beatiful and very like it.
    Photos can be found here http://www.semraninmutfagi.com
    Thanks
    Semra

  • Oh my gosh! The website is fun, the name, too cute, and the thought of eating this item, too sweet….as in, HEAVENLY!

  • Good report however I didn’t see “Rogue Chocolatier” from Minneapolis on the list. He’s a real gem and even though the name says chocolatier, he’s another extraordinary chocolate maker. Look it up!

  • Askinosie’s San Jose del Tambo Nibble bar is my favorite – fruity, balanced, crunchy and oh so delicious! I try to keep it onhand as my husband and I are both so disappointed when that particular one is gone. I love their packaging, too, but noticed in the last batch that there was no map included. The chocolate was still great, though.