In the delightful box that arrived from Ben’s parents for Channukah were two bars of Askinosie chocolate. I’d never heard of them, which isn’t surprising as they’re a quite new company. They specialize in super-ethical single-origin very dark chocolate. We have one bar of each of their current varieties — Ecuadoran and Mexican. We tried the Ecuadoran last night. Just…wow. This chocolate lives up to its scientific name of theobroma. Smooth, rich, just the right amount of sugar, and a wonderfully complex flavor. It’s $7.50 for a 3.5oz bar, but depending on finding out slightly more about their agricultural practices, it appears to be worth every penny. They adhere to a business standard that’s actually more stringent than fair-trade certification, but aren’t certified organic and don’t mention any details of their farmers’ growing practices or where they get their sugar. But everything about the business practices and the level of concern they’ve taken with making their packaging recycled/able and biodegradable says that they care about things like that. So I’m in the middle of emailing them and I’ll see if I get any useful reply. Their website is Warning for anyone with dialup: it’s a beautiful but Very Slow flash-based website. My email to them will also suggest that they please provide a fully text-based alternative website.

Update: I got a reply this afternoon, and they are in fact organic, shade-grown, and all that good stuff. And are working on a text-only website :-) Seriously, if anyone is looking for a good new chocolate source, check these guys out!

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