ditched for acadia national park: askinosie davao white chocolate bar + pistachios

14 Oct

I wanted to tell you about the joys and wonders of a really well-made white chocolate bar. Never mind that I have long hated white chocolate, with the aversion stemming back to some sordid tale involving a young girl, saddened to find that a white chocolate Easter bunny does not taste the same as a milk chocolate one.

Periodically since that sad day I have tried once again to venture into the realms of white chocolate. After all, stark white chocolate makes for fun photography. However, I deeply regret to report that I am not over my white chocolate crisis; by purchasing a high-end craft chocolate variety, I have in fact only augmented it. Enter the Askinosie Davao White Chocolate Bar + Pistachios.

I am not qualified to review this chocolate. If you like white chocolate and pistachios, I’m certain that you will love this. My boyfriend loves this bar. How he can enjoy something that is too sweet for even me is incredibly mystifying, but that’s the way it goes, I guess. In the more comfortable realms of darker chocolate, I have been exceedingly pleased with Askinosie offerings, including the San Jose del Tambo and Soconusco bars. White chocolate just isn’t my thing: an aroma of this bar leads me to think of old cheese curds, and rotting fish. I keep coming back to it again and again, not making it past the smell test, turned off by what I’m sure you, gentle reader, many find innocently delicious.

So if white chocolate is your thing, don’t listen to anything except “I’m certain that you will love this.” At $10.50 per bar, I would at least hope so.

Moving on to something we can all agree on: autumn is a beautiful time of year. Exit Askinosie Davao White Chocolate Bar + Pistachios. Enter Acadia National Park.

I am remiss for not mentioning Acadia National Park to you sooner. Located a little over an hour from Bangor, the park provides hiking opportunities mixed with the chance to observe wealthy vacationers getting rugged in their unscuffed hiking boots and well-fitted EMS and Mountain Hardware outfits. Vacation homes of the rich dot Mount Desert Island, the island containing the bulk of Acadia National Park. In an area of Maine known for some of the poorer counties in all of the country, Acadia shines as a beacon of what Maine is capable of.

Scenic beauty, hospitality, and lots of fresh ocean air.

I try to avoid visiting Acadia in the summer, when it is overrun with seasonal residents and visitors fresh off of cruise boats. In the off seasons, though, Acadia is in my opinion, much more on. The perfect place for a day hike, or foliage admiration, or a last chance to sport shorts for the season – all of which we took advantage of during this past Monday’s holiday.

Getting around in the park is simple, albeit a bit pricey during the enforced fee season. Visitors can drive through the park in personal vehicles, or can hop on and off of circulating fee-free park buses. There is a carriage road system, consisting of forty-five miles of broken-stone roads and rustic bridges, financed back in the day by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. On these non-motorized roads, bicyclists and hikers can mingle with horseback and carriage riders (none of which I have tried my hand, or feet, or horse, at yet).

Hiking trails, both short and long, abound across the island.

We hiked the Precipice Trail, which was a quick, fun trek labeled by the park as a “non-technical climbing route” where “people have died.” So I suppose we climbed the Precipice Trail, actually. It wasn’t as bad as they made it sound, and it featured plenty of climbing with installed metal ladders and handrails. I say it featured lots of fun.

I can see how the trail can become instantly dangerous in wet weather, with narrow rock ledges and exposed open areas providing the catalyst for injury, or, I suppose, death. So, hike this non-technical climbing route in dry conditions, and you will be aces.

And when the sun sets, as it is wont to do insanely early here in Maine, treat yourself to a lobster roll and onion rings, just like all the summertime tourists would do. It is one of the most delicious treats I have enjoyed while here on the East Coast. Enter the Lobster Roll from Lunts Gateway Lobster Pound: more appreciated in Maine than white chocolate.

Lunts Gateway Lobster Pound

1133 Bar Harbor Rd
Trenton, ME 04605

Open in 2011 until October 24th

Acadia National Park

PO Box 177
Bar Harbor, ME 04609

207.288.3338

Open year round. Entrance fees charged for use from May 1st through October 31st.

Askinosie Chocolate

514 E. Commercial St
Springfield, MO 65803

417.862.9900

 

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22 Responses to “ditched for acadia national park: askinosie davao white chocolate bar + pistachios”

  1. Hannah 2011/10/15 at 06:36 #

    I miss this chocolate. There was one store in Canberra that sold it, and I used to buy it when I lived at home and didn’t have to pay for normal groceries or rent. Why am I making that point? Because it cost $19.95 here. For the 85g. I still feel a little nauseous about that. But I don’t feel nauseous about the flavour because, like your boyfriend, I loved the blend of undeoderised cocoa butter and goat’s milk and salted pistachios and… okay, I’m totally going to have to go and watch some Heartland to soothe my heart pain right now.

    • emma schultz 2011/10/15 at 18:29 #

      Hannah, I’m glad someone misses this chocolate:) But oh my gosh sheeshikins, $19.95!?! I would rather get hit in the knees than pay 20 bucks for white chocolate that I find yucky.

      I like the salted pistachio part, and I like goat’s milk…. it’s just the cocoa butter gettin’ me down. Wah wah.

      Heartland!! Eeeeyay, there is a new episode airing tomorrow night, meaning that shortly after, I will be able to watch it. Meanwhile, I will sing the wordless part of the theme song: “Neeuahhr neahhr neahhr neahhr neuahhhhhhhhhhhhhr…”

      • Hannah 2011/10/15 at 21:47 #

        Would it make you feel better than I also several times paid $19.95 for the Dark Chocolate Askinosies too? Just as well the shop burnt down, otherwise I never would have been able to afford to move out…

        • emma schultz 2011/10/17 at 12:41 #

          I can’t even fathom the sadness of a chocolate shop burning down.

          I feel like making a reference to it being alright to double boil the shop, but making sure not to subject it to direct heat – does this make me a horrible person?

          :)

          • Hannah 2011/10/17 at 22:34 #

            No, that makes you the kind of person I’m proud to call my friend ;)

  2. Brianne 2011/10/15 at 13:55 #

    Thank you, thank you for capturing Acadia with your camera! I’ve never been able to do it justice. Those are some gorgeous photos. Lunt’s lobster pound is TOTALLY the way to go after a day of hiking in Acadia. They’re the best. I love all the knick-knacks on the walls, and the accents of the staff are to die for! If I may be so bold: that chocolate bar looks disgusting. With that, here’s another thanks for showcasing those photos of Acadia. It’s one of my favorite places.

    • emma schultz 2011/10/15 at 18:33 #

      Brianne, it was my pleasure to capture Acadia for you and for anyone else who may be interested – a round of Acadia for everyone, on the house!

      Do you know why I love Lunt’s best? Do you do you do you? Is it because they spell it Lunts Gateway but also Lunt’s? No. Is it because there’s nothing like the sight of countless private jets at the airport across the road lined up to whisk their clients into the lap of luxury? No. Do you know yet? Is it because Martha Stewart and affluent pals dined there and blogged about it? YES!

      They’ve got some funny Halloween knick-knacks for sale right now… too bad I didn’t pick you any up:)

  3. Mum 2011/10/15 at 14:36 #

    That was nice how you circled back to the chocolate…Beautiful, beautiful scenery–I REALLY loved the sumac photo. You are sooooo lucky to have such a place in your immediate world!
    As to white chocolate–I’m with you, it always seems too sweet, but I have often wondered if that was a function of the kind of white chocolate that I have had(cheap). I’ve never seen really good quality white chocolate, tho that appears to be what you are sampling. I must say, the photo with the bar with the pistachios looks kind of appealing, and pretty. What is white chocolate, anyway?

    • emma schultz 2011/10/15 at 18:44 #

      Mum, I thought you might like that sumac photo. It was right across from Thunder Hole, which I bet you’ll also like (to reminisce about).

      I believe I’ve only been to Acadia twice this year, but indeed, I feel quite lucky whenever I go. I’m in it for the ocean though, you know that!

      The chocolate photographs nicely, it’s true. But as to what it is, I’m so glad you asked. White chocolate is made up of cocoa butter, which is extracted from cacao beans, along with cocoa powder – unless it is all ground together into chocolate liquor. To create white chocolate products, milk and sugar (and salt) are added until the consistency is just right -> or in my mind, just wrong! As Hannah mentioned above, Askinosie is rather neat because they add cane juice and goat’s milk powder to their cocoa butter. As she also mentioned, the cocoa butter in this bar is non-deodorized, whereas white chocolate is often ‘deodorized’ to remove its strong and nasty taste. Either way, I still find it unsuitable to my needs:D

  4. Silvia 2011/10/15 at 16:04 #

    Beautiful landscape… woods and the ocean! (We have woods here, but I always get excited if it’s about the ocean…. :))

    And that bar sounds great. $10.50 for a bar of chocolate is steep… and I don’t want to imagine what it would cost here! ;)

    • emma schultz 2011/10/15 at 18:51 #

      Silvia, me too! I get so incredibly excited by the ocean. It might be my favorite “place,” if that is a legit thing to say.

      $10.50 sure is steep, and I actually paid $11. I wouldn’t want to imagine what it would cost there either – I have clear memories of paying three times what I expected for the cheapest lunch I could find in the train station in Bern! I’m sure Zürich is no different.

  5. Ashley@bakerbynature 2011/10/16 at 17:06 #

    I feel the same way: white chocolate is just not my thing. But wow – such lovely photographs!

    • emma schultz 2011/10/17 at 12:42 #

      Ashley, I’m glad it isn’t just me! And here I was thinking I had to overcome my white chocolate dislike in order to mature a bit in the chocosphere:)

  6. Mary at n00bcakes 2011/10/17 at 08:32 #

    It’s okay – I am a fellow non-white chocolate person. I’m not sure I dislike it with the vehemence you do, but I’ve never understood why people would choose a solid white chocolate bar/candy over milk or dark. I agree…it’s simply too sweet.

    Also, hah! I love seemingly innocuous places labeled “Past this sign, people have DIED.” It seems a little silly sometimes, but for people who don’t hike a lot I suppose it’s safer to scare them with a sign than let it go un-said. Better safe than sorry, right? Having gotten back from Yosemite recently and climbing part of Half Dome, it’s super easy to see how a little bit of dampness can definitely increase the danger factor of a hike.

    Beautiful pictures, as usual! Sounds like I really need to make a trip to the NE to do a little hiking. :)

    • emma schultz 2011/10/17 at 12:48 #

      Mary: yusss, I am so not alone on this one. I think my vehemence stemmed from my spending $11 on something that disgusted me, having hoped I’d like it this time around:/

      The Precipice Trail could most definitely be dangerous when slick, especially for folks who have a bit of a fear of heights. While I never have, I had a dream the night before hiking this that instill a bit of height-fear in me; it was the weirdest thing. I’m glad I was able to get out there and remedy that as soon as I did.

      All said and done about danger, I’ll admit that there are some foolish choices being made at Acadia on a regular basis. People have been swept out to sea as well – all of these needless deaths are of course avoidable.

      Yosemite sounds amazing:) If you make it this far into New England for hiking, definitely check out the many peaks in Baxter State Park!

  7. yummy supper 2011/10/17 at 11:43 #

    Emma, one of my great food-longings is to have lobster at an old-school lobster pound on the east coast. So jealous!

    And about the chocolate… I have to say that I can dig some white chocolate, even in a Toblerone (forgive my plebeian tastes;). But I have had a bad experience with an Askinosie bar. I fell for the beautiful wrapping ( cannot remember the specific bar) and bought one to share with a very discerning buddy of mine. It was inedible. Such a bummer!

    -E

    • emma schultz 2011/10/17 at 12:53 #

      Erin: Eating lobster in general was one of the most exciting things I anticipated when I moved out here. Learning how to… savage it by hand;) Or just eating lobster rolls, also amazing. It’s so much more affordable here than in the Midwest that I feel like I need to take advantage of it on a regular basis! Not that I do; I try to stick to the one lobster every 6 weeks guideline, or whatever:)

      I have no qualms with Toblerone, I’m no snob! I bet with something such as Toblerone I too could even enjoy white choc.

      It’s crazy that you had a “bad experience” with Askinosie, a company whose chocolate I’ve always deeply respected. Crazy craze. But yeah, definitely a bummer:(

  8. sarah 2011/10/18 at 11:13 #

    How sad that something so sweet could smell so bad. I’m not fond of white chocolate ever. Sometimes I forget and try to add that cheap “bark” to stuff for Christmas an it sits and gets crumby and no one eats it.

    I really need to find my way to the east coast. It looks so beautiful. I got a chance to get a little more north of here and go to New Mexico this weekend. It was refreshing to see the color change on a tree. I even spied a couple aspen on the trip up – it made my fall complete. I can’t even imagine how spectacular fall leaves AND the ocean would be to see.

    • emma schultz 2011/10/20 at 07:19 #

      sarah: I can picture heaps of chocolate bark sitting unloved in the corner; that would likely be the way I’d treat it too, unfortunately. Well, if it was white chocolate, anyway. Although then it wouldn’t get crumbly, it would melt into a self-loathing cocoa butter-y pile of itself.

      There is endless scenic beauty out here, but you often have to climb a bit before being treated with wide-open vistas – I bet this isn’t the case where you live? I’m glad you got to take a weekend away, it sounds perfect:) Aspen get so cool looking out west! Much cooler than here.

  9. Charlotte Rose 2011/10/19 at 15:11 #

    Your picture of the park are beautiful. Fall is the most beautiful season in my opinion because of all the colors, the crispness in the air, the smells. Iowa trees haven’t started turning the brilliant yellows, oranges, and reds yet but it should be any day now.
    And im with you with the white chocolate thing. Even though that chocolate looks delicious, I just don’t think I could get over it being white chocolate. Every time I eat white chocolate, I always wish I was eating dark or at least milk.

    • emma schultz 2011/10/20 at 07:21 #

      Charlotte Rose, while I hesitate to say this (because I love all seasons), I’ve long had an affinity with fall that I don’t feel at any other time of year. And I think the main reason is the changing smell to the air. The leaves are cool too, and I like when it rains and it’s chilly, but it’s all about those smells.

      We’ve already lost a lot of our leaves, so you’re lucky that the best is still yet to come!

      And good point. I’d rather be eating dark or milk chocolate too. I’ll get on that…:)

  10. Jessica 2011/10/20 at 20:35 #

    Aww, poor white chocolate. I like it, but it’s not my favorite. Actually, it can be really good when paired with dark chocolate (like in a bark) because they kind of even each other out. I saw a recipe once for making white chocolate and it sounded intriguing…this! Maybe I should give it a try sometime and let you know how it compares. Beautiful state you’ve got there! It’s nice to see some trees that actually change color. Annnd I love me some lobster. drool.

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