Missouri Bean to Bar Update and a Reason to Go to St. Louis’ Union Station


On Valentine’s Day, I wrote about Patric chocolate, a top-notch chocolate that is produced from bean to bar in Missouri. Earlier this week, reader Kristen wrote to let me know that Cioccolato, a store located in St. Louis’ Union Station carries Askinosie, another Missouri bean to bar chocolate.

Those of you who live in or have visited St. Louis know that Union Station is basically a tourist mall. The best part of it is a fudge show where the employees sing and dance and fling fudge in the air to look like the St. Louis arch. Despite the fact that it is a mall, it’s not really a place you think of to go and buy things, especially not gourmet chocolate.

Looking for an excuse to try out the chocolate store, I had the following conversation with my husband:

Me: Why don’t we go to Union Station to buy the dress shirt you need for the upcoming wedding?

My husband: Union Station won’t have dress shirts.

Me: Sure they will.

It turned out that there was one shop in Union Station that carried dress shirts. It was a tie shop and it only had about 30 shirts (not 30 styles, 30 shirts). None of them were in his size.

Cioccolato, however, was not a bust! It was a hidden St. Louis gem. Unfortunately, Kristen was not working that night, but the woman who helped us (I didn’t catch her name) was incredibly knowledgeable about chocolate and went out of her way to make sure we knew about what we were buying. She also gave enough free samples to make the visit worth our while.

askinosie1We ended up purchasing two varieties of Askinosie chocolate. In my opinion, it wasn’t as good the Patric. However, to each her own. Our salesperson said she didn’t much care for the Patric. Blasphemy!

One fun thing about the Askinosie chocolate (aside from the name that makes it sound like it’s made for Jewish chocolate lovers and the fact that it is from Springfield, MO) is the fact that there is a code on the package that you can type into their website to see the history of your bar. It’s like Webkinz for chocolate lovers.

We also bought a bar of Amano chocolate (a Utah bean to bar company) that came highly recommended by Tempered Woman. Again, our saleslady said she didn’t think it was all that, but she did admit that many rank it the best chocolate ever.

Lastly, we picked up a couple of hot cocoa mixes from Vosges that I had heard of but are not carried at Whole Foods. I’m particularly excited about the Bianca Courture Cocoa. You may see a cupcake that features this product in the future.

If you are in St. Louis, you now have a reason to go to Union Station. Although, call first, our saleslady mentioned that the store may be moving to somewhere else downtown. I’m not surprised.

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