I have to tell you about a new chocolate you have to try. It is called Askinosie chocolate. Go to their web site at www.askinosie.com to see a really creative web site and read about their wonderful story. The company was started by Shawn Askinosie, and is located in Springfield, Missouri. Over the last year, they have been written up in numerous magazines and have been named one of the best chocolates by some highly-regarded food critics. Shawn used to be a criminal defense lawyer, and decided he wanted to make chocolate. When you go to the web-site, you will begin to see what makes this company unique. Their chocolate bars are made from authentic traceable single origin beans. They are the only small-batch chocolate maker in the United States that presses their own cocoa butter. They source all of their beans from small farmers, pay above fair trade price, and profit share with their farmers.
I love chocolate, and am always ready to try a new kind. But one other thing that makes this unique for me is that I went to high school with Shawn. It's a small world when you live in Alaska, walk into a gourmet store, see a display of chocolate, and then realize that it is being made in Missouri by someone you went to high school with. I was in Springfield last week and was able to visit the store and take a tour through their factory. And of course I had to buy more chocolate to bring home (San Jose Del Tambo 70% Nibble Bar, Saconusco 75% Nibble Bar, San Jose Del Tambo, Ecuador Natural Cocoa Powder, and some bulk chocolate to use in baking).