Askinosie – Soconusco & San Jose Del Tambo

April 5, 2008

Askinosie Soconusco

The letter A is becoming quite heavily populated among the artisan bean-to-bar makers nowadays. First Amedei, then Amano, and now Askinosie (all of which end in vowels, by the way). Named after its founder, Shawn Askinosie, Askinosie is just one of seven companies in the USA that produces small batches of chocolate bars straight from the beans.

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Amedei – I Frutti: Toscano White with Pistachios

December 12, 2007

Amedei I Frutti

Until now I have only fallen in love with unflavored dark bars (including some select milk bars as well) and was relatively intractable by the flavored variations thereof. However, I recently got my hands on an Amedei I Frutti bar, particularly the white chocolate version studded with chopped pistachios (Toscano White with Pistachios), and after finishing the bar in one day I must admit that I have a new love in my life.

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Valrhona – Chuao 2002

November 20, 2007

It has been stated by many consumers (me included) that Amedei has the superior Chuao, while Bonnat’s is a close second. Well, I recently got my hands on a Valrhona Chuao from 2002 and was somewhat eager to try it. I say “somewhat” because I tasted the 2003 vintage in its final days and was sorely disappointed. The chocolate was unlike any Chuao I had tasted previously, and I wasn’t sorry to see that origin go the wayside.

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Amedei vs. Bonnat

November 20, 2007

(This article is double listed from cocoa content to open discussion about this subject.)

Chuao is one of those places we’ve all heard about but never visited. It’s a remote coastal village in northern Venezuelan flanked by lush rain forests, lofty mountains, and the sparkling Caribbean Sea, and inhabited by a people that may seem trapped in time. Indeed, Chuao has an illustrious and romantic history that still can be witnessed, in a sense, just by looking at pictures of cacao fermentation or, better yet, tasting a bar of chocolate produced from its beans.

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