Local coffee shops are melting for Askinosie chocolate from Springfield, Mo.
By Sarah Gish
Oddly Correct in midtown Kansas City, Quay Coffee in the River Market, One More Cup in Waldo, and Parisi Cafe in Leawood all carry Askinosie’s artisan bars, which cost around $8-9 apiece and come in flavors like white chocolate-pistachio and dark chocolate-ancho chile. Parisi Cafe’s even using Askinosie cocoa nibs in its Mocha Martinis.
The sweet backstory: Askinosie was founded by Shawn Askinosie, a former criminal defense lawyer who switched careers and vowed to become “the best chocolate maker in the world.” Askinosie travels to countries such as Equador, Tanzania, Honduras and Mexico to buy cocoa beans directly from farmers. He roasts the beans in his Springfield chocolate factory.
Askinosie also sources ingredients from other artisan food producers -- He uses malted milk from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in Columbus, Ohio to make a dark chocolate-malted milk bar. Intelligentsia Coffee, founded in Chicago, spikes Askinosie’s dark chocolate-coffee bar with mocha flavor.
I tried the malted milk bar, which reminded me (in a good way) of a roasty, malty beer. But my favorite is the dark chocolate bar with crunchy sugar and real vanilla bean scrapings. The floral vanilla flavor makes the chocolate taste even richer -- and the slightly crunchy texture contrasts nicely with the silky dark chocolate. Askinosie chocolate bars are complex and intense -- a single square is enough to curb the strongest chocolate craving.
For more on Askinosie, check out the chocolate maker’s amazingly thorough website.
Have you seen Askinosie chocolate anywhere else in KC? Tweet us @chowtownkc.