At a mere 24-years-old, Colin Gasko is fervently bringing the fine art of bean-to-bar chocolate making to the Midwest. Over the past few years, the Minneapolis-based Rogue Chocolatier has experimented with techniques and flavors for a well-crafted assortment of small batch, single origin chocolate bars.
Gasko sources his own cocoa and oversees the entire three-day-long production process—from cleaning and roasting the cocoa beans to molding and packaging the chocolates in letterpress-printed paper.
Gasko offers four different flavors of chocolate created from beans around the world, as well as the occasional limited edition. Nearly every recipe is a simple combination of chocolate and sugar, with nothing else added. We recently put two bars to the test—the Hispaniola and Rio Caribe. The Hispaniola, sourced from the Dominican Republic, is a smooth chocolate with the right balance of acidity and fruity notes. The intensely flavored Rio Caribe adds even more intrigue, comprised of fully fermented Trinitario cacao sourced from Venezuela’s Paria Peninsula. According to Gasko, Rogue Chocolatier is the first company stateside to produce a single origin bar from Rio Caribe and possibly one of the only two in the world, with Domori the other.
Other flavors include Piura from Peru—a distinct floral aroma with a buttery flavor of nuts, cocoa and raspberries—and the Sambriano from Madagascar—a bar packing plum, citrus, berry and cedar tones.
Rogue Chocolatier bars sell for $7-$9 a bar from his online shop or at select stores around Minneapolis, such as Rustica (a CH favorite offering delicious coffees and sandwiches).