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Askinosie Chocolate to Release New Bar Friday

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On Friday, Askinosie Chocolate will unveil a new chocolate bar made with cocoa beans from Tanzania, a country in eastern Africa. But the final result of making this chocolate means more than just another bar on the shelves. KSMU’s Adam Hammons has more.

The unveiling of Askinosie’s new chocolate bar is a culmination of a year long project where owner, Shawn Askinosie, went to Tanzania to find the right ingredients. What’s different about this bar, though, is that high school students helped out as well.

Askinosie teamed up with 13 seniors from Central High School in Springfield. The students went to Tanzania in August and met the farmers, whom they helped select for the project.

Askinosie says this is his most exciting chocolate bar release.

“So many people were involved in helping bring it about so the chocolate tastes great, but the fact that these young people, some of them have had their lives changed over this project is even better,” he said.

The bar is called Tenende, Tanzania, named after the village where the cocoa beans come from. At the open house, Askinosie says there will be free samples of the bar, along with hot chocolate made with the Tanzanian chocolate.

“It is a dark chocolate. It’s 72 percent, so it’s dark and it’s really, really got a complex flavor, which is good. We like that,” he said.

The open house will be from 5 to 8 Friday night at Askinosie Chocolate on 514 East Commercial Street. It’s free and open to the public.

For KSMU News, I’m Adam Hammons.