Jess Tupper is one of our most enthusiastic customers. Her enthusiasm doesn’t stop at chocolate, it extends to all sweets. In fact, she microblogs about desserts for a living.
I have to thank my long-time employee, Anna Daniell, for introducing me to Jess Tupper. Jess is a friend of Anna’s from GeekGirlCon, a group where Anna was a co-founding member. Anna has brought me many wonderful geeks as a result of her time at GeekGirlCon, and Jess is part of that crowd.
I live vicariously when Anna tells me she is getting together with Jess. It means Jess has an itinerary of restaurants, mostly dessert restaurants, and the two of them are going on a journey to taste the restaurant’s specialties. While it sometimes involves savory foods like Chinese dumplings, it mostly involves cakes, pastries, chocolates, ice cream, macarons or anything with sugar in it. I asked Anna what it’s like when the two of them go tasting together. Anna said they discuss whatever they’re eating, and while they often agree on whether they like something or not, Jess teaches Anna about the technical aspects of the type of dessert they’re trying. Anna said, “Unless it’s chocolate, I often learn from Jess about the technical aspects and whether the pastry we’re tasting meets the criteria, but I’m mostly just judging whether I like it or not based on my own experience.”
In keeping with her focus on sweets, Jess has chosen a diverse mix of bars that includes a number of sweeter bars for her happy hour spotlight this Saturday as well as a 100% bar. One of Jess’ favorite bars is the Askinosie White Chocolate Nibble bar, a bar we’ve flirted with over the years. I say “flirted with” because sometimes we have it, and sometimes we don’t. Our customers tend to focus on dark chocolate, so it’s not one that sells well for us. It’s a shame because it’s an interesting and tasty bar with intense savory notes that temper the sweetness. Askinosie makes its white chocolate with goat’s milk, resulting in a taste that is reminiscent of goat cheese, and then it covers the back of the Nibble bar with cacao nibs. It’s a great bar, so we decided to bring it back in honor of Jess’ happy hour. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
Here’s more about Jess in her own words, followed by her bar choices for Saturday’s happy hour:
What’s your favorite bar of chocolate right now?
Usually, the bar that I’m eating right now! Though I did just get this gianduja-style bar made with baru nuts from Mission Chocolate that I’m really liking. (Sadly, Chocolopolis isn’t carrying it yet as far as I know; I found it when I was in Los Angeles.) It’s a really neat flavor! Nutty, sure, but with this lovely dusty note that’s unlike any other gianduja I’ve had.
Do you have a favorite bar of all time?
The Askinosie White Chocolate Nibble Bar. There’s something so satisfying about it. (And Askinosie was one of the first bean to bar brands I got introduced to, way back in 2008, so it holds a special place in my heart.)
How did you discover Chocolopolis?
I don’t actually remember! I think I knew about it for a while, but didn’t go in until after I met Anna. (I blame living far away from Queen Anne.) And then I fell in love with your hot chocolate – and marshmallows – and your Christopher Elbow collection and the rest is history.
What do you do when you’re not tasting chocolate?
I’m the Dessert Geek, and I blog about dessert! While I’ve been mainly microblogging desserts on Instagram as @dessertgeek_ for the last two years, I’m currently moving to YouTube and more travel work. (And dessert-focused travel!)
When I’m not editing video I like to explore Seattle, read, write fiction, and bake with my spouse.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Get the chocolate that makes you happy! Sure, I love hunting down unusual bars, but the bars I always have at home are super comforting. If I can do anything, I want to give you extra permission to love what you love in chocolate. And to share your chocolate when you can, because that’s way more fun. All that being said, Valrhona Caramelia is ridiculously addictive unless you have willpower of steel. (Or don’t like caramel.) Buy carefully.
Happy Hour samples chosen by Jess:
- Fresco Polochic Valley 100%
- Askinosie White Chocolate Nibble Bar
- Fruition Toasted White Chocolate
- Valrhona Caramelia