Food or art? Both: and both are great! Among our
personal favorite foods and arts,
are chocolates by Christopher Elbow.
Christopher Elbow Artisanal Chocolate: Jackson Pollack In A Chocolate Box
This review starts with a lament: that we don’t have photography beautiful enough to show you what works of art Christopher Elbow’s chocolates are. When we first saw a (much better) photo of them—after he had won an industry award naming him the best of the new generation of American chocolatiers—they looked like beautiful works painted by Jackson Pollack. When our order arrived and we lifted the lid of the box, we gasped. We regret that we have no photo to share what adequately expresses their magnificence.
And then there’s the taste. Those who know us know how we have lamented the early retirement of our favorite chef, Paris’s brilliant Joel Robuchon. In a city of masters, he was the master who married ingredients and coaxed flavors from foods in a way that set him apart from all of the other great talents.
Now, we have eaten chocolate from many gifted masters, and what makes Christopher Elbow’s special is the purity of flavor he achieves from his fondant flavors. Try the Fresh Mint bonbon and it seems as if you’re having a sprig of fresh mint with the chocolate. Earl Grey Tea tastes like you’re sipping a cup of Earl Grey while you’re eating the chocolate. All chocolatiers at his level work with top ingredients (for those who keep track, he uses El Rey couverture). We just don’t know what technique creates this kind of palate magic.
Those who have experienced the cuisine of Chef Robuchon will now nod their heads knowingly, and call for a few boxes of Christopher Elbow Artisanal Chocolate. If we had Mr. Robuchon’s address, we would send him a few boxes. We’re certain he would enjoy them.
Mr. Elbow is still in his 20’s, so unless he is tempted by other opportunities, he could sharing his gifts with us for decades to come. However, you should start eating as much of the current “work” as you can. Like all artists, his style will evolve.
|From left to right: Caramel Banana, Rosemary Caramel, Passionfruit, Fresh Mint.
Since we first had Christopher Elbow chocolates two years ago, the product line has expanded far beyond bonbons, and now includes dark and spiced Venezuelan hot chocolate (both of which came in at the top of the 65 varieties of gourmet hot chocolate we reviewed recently), chocolate-covered nuts (roasted almonds, candied almonds and hazelnuts), roasted almond and candied pecan toffee and pâte de fruits. We can’t wait to try the rest of these goodies, to see what the Elbownian perspective and skills have done with toffee, nuts and pâte de fruits. You can be assured of seeing the results in print.
Updated January 2007
FORWARD THIS NIBBLE to your chocolate-loving friends.
CHRISTOPHER ELBOW CHOCOLATE
- 9-Piece Box
- 16-Piece Box
- 21-Piece Box
- 42-Piece Box
Shipping additional. Prices are verified at publication but are subject to change.
First we bought two: one for ourselves, one for a gift—and then couldn’t bear to part with the second box. The next time we bought four—but still faced the same dilemma.
Purchase online at ElbowChocolates.com or telephone 1.816.842.1300 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST.
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