Thank you to Chocolate Stars USA for recommending and sending me these Christopher Elbow bars! These bars are new and will be introduced during the Summer Fancy Food Show, though you can also view them on their website. Since I will not be able to attend the Summer Fancy Food Show this year, I am very grateful for the opportunity to experience a tiny part of it through these bars 🙂
Christopher Elbow is an artisan chocolatier based out of Kansas City, MO, and though this is my first time trying his chocolate, he is well known and his chocolates are sold in a variety of stores across the country including my local Chocolate House in D.C. He uses his signature chocolate blend as the base for most of his products and you can see some behind the scenes pictures of the chocolate being prepared on this tour of his factory. To learn more about what brought Christopher into the world of chocolate, I recommend watching this YouTube video.
For some Q&A with Christopher, you can also watch this video where he mentioned his shop starting out at the size of 400 square feet and selling 21 flavors, which remain popular to this day. In the video they mention the minimalistic design of the shop, which translates into the packaging as well. I couldn’t help but admire the simplicity of the packaging. When I shared these bars with coworkers, one of them said it look fancy because of the packaging.
The bars below are part of Christopher’s Signature Artisan Gourmet Chocolate Bar Collection. Besides the ones I’ll be sharing below, there are six other bars that will be introduced during the Fancy Food Show.
We’re starting off with the simple but ever popular 70% Dark Chocolate bar. It had a deep chocolatey scent. The texture was very smooth as my bite melted on my tongue and the chocolate had a combination of nutty, slightly floral and fruity notes. The nuttiness lingered in the aftertaste.
The Dark Rocks bar was voted the best bar by the Food and Wine Magazine! This bar I sampled with coworkers before I even started writing this post. My coworkers and I had previously been addicted to the Fireworks Oreos, which contained pop rocks. Because we could no longer find Fireworks Oreos, this bar helped make up for the loss. The chocolate seemed creamier in flavor compared to the 70% Dark Chocolate, and the light popping sensation filled my mouth almost immediately. This is a very fun bar, and if you let the chocolate melt on your tongue, the popping goes on for a long time! One of my coworkers said the sensation was “airy.”
The scent of lemon and ginger was very faint from this bar, but once a piece of chocolate was in my mouth, I immediately tasted tartness of lemon and that sharp bite of ginger. From the outside of the bar you can’t see the candied ginger pieces, but once the chocolate melted in my mouth a bit, I could munch on the crystalized ginger bits. As someone who is still getting used to ginger in their chocolate, this bar was not bad at all! The light texture of the ginger was pleasant as opposed to bars with chewy or hard ginger pieces. For the majority of my bite, the lemon and ginger became subtle flavors while the chocolate took the spotlight.
The spicy scent of cardamom was very obvious and upfront from the Coffee Cardamom bar. My bite started off with strong cardamom and subtle coffee and chocolatey flavors. There were very subtle crunchy bits from the ground coffee and cardamom. Halfway through my bite, the cardamom grew subtler but the back of my throat got some of that spicy kick. This chocolate melted quicker on my tongue than the others and the coffee and cardamom lingered in the aftertaste.
The Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter and Toasted Corn was a bit softer due to the warmer temperatures. The bar definitely smelled like peanut butter and I could see corn bits on the back. Once I bit into the bar, I immediately tasted the flavor of popcorn, salt, butter, and peanut butter. The texture was a mixture of smooth and crunchy from the milk chocolate and corn bits. Sometimes I get a craving for milk chocolate and peanut butter. This bar hit the spot for that craving 🙂 This reminded me of a Salazon bar I’ve tried before that contained peanuts and popcorn.
Any leftovers from sampling these bars will definitely be shared with coworkers so they can experience these flavor combinations, especially since the Dark Rocks bar was popular! There’s a Blueberry Lavender Dark Chocolate bar by Christopher Elbow that I definitely would be interested in trying if I get the chance. Best of luck for the Christopher Elbow chocolates at the Summer Fancy Food Show! Definitely give them a try if you are able to attend the event, when you next visit Kansas City, or make an online order.
Christopher Elbow: Made in Kansas City, MO
These are my personal thoughts and experiences. Website links to articles, companies and other sources of information directly related to the topic written within the posts were included during the time of writing and the writer will not be held responsible for future changes on such website links. All images are original and the property of Time To Eat Chocolate unless specifically stated otherwise.