Monday, 2 February 2009

US premium chocolate features Davao cocoa

The Manila Standard

SPRINGFIELD, Missouri—Askinosie Chocolate has produced a bar made from cocoa imported from Davao, its first single-origin chocolate bar from the Philippines that it calls Davao, Philippines 77%.

The first cacao brought to Asia in 1600 was grown in the Philippines, and Askinosie Chocolate is the first to export Filipino cocoa beans in nearly 25 years, says the company, a small batch chocolate manufacturer that buys its beans directly from farmers.

“The beans used to make this tantalizing bar are very exclusive, making the Davao, Philippines chocolate bar uniquely exotic.”

Ari Weinzweig, founder of the world-famous Zingerman’s Deli, describes the 77% Bar as “Dark and deep with a touch of toastiness. It’s dry like a full-bodied, well aged red wine. This bar is compelling in its own East Asian way.”

“We are excited about [Askinosie’s] work with [Filipino] farmers so that people around the world can share the taste of what our cocoa beans can produce,” says Josephine Ramos of the Cacao Foundation of the Philippines.

The Davao Bar is made from lush, tropical, shade-grown, chemical-free Trinitario beans, and is described as the “chocolatiest-tasting bar” from Askinosie yet.

Philippine Consul-General Blesila Cabrera and Trade Representative Glenn Penaranda were in Springfield for the release party for the Davao Bar on Jan. 30.

Askinosie Chocolate’s founder, Shawn Askinosie, travels to Mexico, Ecuador and the Philippines to work directly with farmers and buy their produce.

This arrangement allows the chocolate to be traced to the source and to be labeled “Authentic Single Origin Chocolate.” It also allows Askinosie Chocolate to share its profits with farmers.

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