On Friday we had the great privilege of visiting the Askinose Chocolate Factory in Springfield. What a great time! They make exquisite chocolate. They are the only small batch chocolate maker in the US that presses their own cocoa butter for their chocolate. They have personal relationships with the farmers who grow their cacao beans in Mexico and Ecuador. They are the only chocolate maker in 100 years outside of Mexico to make chocolate from the beans from the Soconusco region of Mexico. And I'm not sure why else these beans are special, but let me tell you that chocolate made from those beans.....oh, there is no description. They will definitely be serving Askinose chocolate in heaven. If you live in this area, drop by and pay them a visit. You can see the whole factory through big windows. They are wonderful, nice Christian people. And the owner and chief chocolate maker has an amazing story. Go to the website and read about it and then give them a call and order some chocolate!
Here are some pics from our day there:
Mariah and Aaron getting ready to attend "Chocolate University"
Some pictures from owner Shawn Askinosie's travels to the cacao bean farmers.
The room where the debris is removed from the bags of beans, the beans are roasted and cooled and winnowed.
Kyle our tour guide did a great job. He is also the son-in-law of Shawn Askinosie.
Cocoa butter, doesn't that look good for you? ;)
From beans to bar, mmmmmm.
Oompa-Loompas answering Mariah's questions. :)
The regions where their beans come from.
All in all, it was a great day and we came home with some great chocolate!