It happened. Time Cupsoul finally tried Askinosie Chocolate!
Askinosie‘s Dark Chocolate (70% Tanzania) + Crunchy Sugar Crystals & Vanilla Bean bar caught our attention; Askinosie partnered with “pioneering food friends” for a collection of their artisan “CollaBARation Bars,” including the ancho chile and pistachio bar with Cafe Pasqual, and a dark chocolate and coffee bean bar with Intelligentsia Coffee Roasters. This particular vanilla bean chocolate bar represents collusion with Zingerman’s Delicatessen.
Simply assessing the packaging of this bar won’t necessarily clue the chocolate patron that Askinosie’s reputation is of high esteem. The brown paper wrapping, stamped with the Askinosie logo – an A inside of a circle, surrounded by other smaller circles – is not flashy, nor is the paper donned with numerous labels, as is the previously reviewed chocolate bar. Yes, if you look deeper and underneath of the colored label tied to the bar with a small string, “from a biodegradable bag of cocoa beans,” it’s revealed that the “inner wrap is home compost-able, non GM packaging from a sustainable source.” The packaging also lists the brand as direct trade. Okay, what does make this bar special is a combination of factors, but mostly it revolves around the whole organic vanilla bean pieces from Papua New Guinea. The vanilla in this bar is simply incredible.
This bar’s molding is very photo-worthy, spelling out A-S-K-I-N-O-S-I-E C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E in beautiful small squares. Can you eat just one?
Biting into an Askinosie chocolate square, immediately, the vanilla is at the forefront of taste. According to the chocolate shop of purchase, chocolate makers have recently moved away from including vanilla in their bars to better showcase the fine flavor notes of cocoa, but this Askinosie bar celebrates the intricacies of both chocolate and vanilla. It should be applauded.
After a few bites, a conclusion was made. This bar is most definitely the strongest cocoa: wet brownie (flavor note) bar that Time Cupsoul has ever tasted. It’s scrumptious.
Explosive vanilla qualities unfurl with each bite, bringing a unique sweet and slightly sour zest to the bar, and morphing the overall flavor experience into notes reminiscent of sugar: maple and molasses. The absolute best way to describe this bar is as a dessert in itself, and the similarity to a crème brûlée is undeniable. Yes, this bar is like a special crème brûlée made with essence of dark chocolate.
Finally, because the bar is made using “little conching and refining,” the coarse texture adds an element of raw truth. Time Cupsoul seems to be loving coarsely texture chocolate bars of late, including this one. Looking at the structure of the Askinosie/Zingerman’s bar without magnification, eyes can easily detect sugar crystals and dark chocolate flecks. Fun to look at and more fun to eat. Eating this bar is simply a joy. Most certainly a time cupsoul. Looking forward to trying other Askinosie Chocolate bars again soon.
*Please note that all chocolate bars consumed and reviewed by Time Cupsoul are randomly chosen and purchased with personal funds. This bar is approximately $8.99.