Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Christopher Elbow Artisanal Chocolate, Kansas City, MO

Christopher Elbow Artisanal Chocolate, Kansas City, MO - visited June 2, 2018
This is going to be one of those posts that is very picture-heavy. One glance through the pictures and you'll understand why. The good news is viewing them doesn't actually make you gain weight. Just have a kleenex handy to catch any drool.

Still eating our way through Kansas City. Saturday night, we had dinner plans to go to a Spanish tapas place (next post) but we left a little early so we had time to go to Mel’s favorite chocolatier, Christopher Elbow. She had bought a box of dark chocolate sea salt turtles to spoil us with when we arrived but we all wanted to go to the shop ourselves and buy gifts to bring home. Okay, and more chocolate for ourselves.

I was a little familiar with Christopher Elbow Chocolates since Mel had given me a box of artisanal chocolates when I had last visited but this was my first time in the actual shop. It’s definitely worth seeing in person and I’m so glad I got the opportunity to do so. The chocolates were literally a work of art, every single piece. I had to snap pictures of nearly every display as they were so beautiful. I’m in awe of the vision to create each kind of chocolate; they were quite artistic.

Some of the flavors were also rather exotic. This is where my plain taste buds don’t necessarily come up to scratch to the artistry and more sophisticated palate probably needed to fully appreciate artisanal chocolate but I found enough to satisfy not just my eyes but also my taste buds.

You can buy the chocolates by the piece and either go for a 4-box, 9-box or 16-box. Or, if you don’t want chocolates in those numbers, you can buy any amount you wish to put in a bag but then you end up paying the individual chocolate price, $4 each. It’s slightly cheaper to buy the pre-fixed amounts in the different-size boxes.

I liked the turtles Mel had us try at her house but I went for a box of the milk chocolate ones instead of the dark chocolate. I’m a milk chocolate imbiber. Then I had to get 4 of the pretty chocolates because you know, chocolate. My “impulse” purchase was a milk chocolate hazelnut praline from a display of individually wrapped ones conveniently near the cash register, meant to target weak-willed chocoholics like me. I obliged.

If you want to know prices, the box of 6 milk chocolate fleur de sel pecan turtles was $22, the 4-box chocolates were $10, and the milk chocolate hazelnut patty were $4. So it was not a cheap indulgence but worth it.

I managed to keep myself from eating any of it until I was on my way home the next morning. The milk chocolate hazelnut patty ended up being my breakfast as I caught a 6 am flight out of Kansas City the next day. I held out until we were landing for my connecting flight. Took one bite and cursed myself for only getting one of these. It was freaking amazingly delicious. WHY did I only get one?? What was I thinking??

By the second bite, I was already thinking I needed to go to the Christopher Elbow shop that the Kansas City folks told me was in San Francisco. San Francisco! Not close but not as far as KC. Seriously, the praline patty was amazing. I had thought it would be hard like a chocolate-covered toffee but it wasn’t. It was slightly more firm than the chewy caramel of the sea salt turtle but not hard like toffee. I can’t describe it very well. I think I need to go get another one to refresh my memory and be more descriptive.

Best Hazelnut Praline Ever

For the 4 individual chocolates, I got a variation of a caramel flavor for each one. The insides were the soft, flowy caramel, my favorite kind. I don’t mind the chewy caramel but the flowy, oozy kind is best. After you bring yourself to break through the gorgeous chocolate shell, you encounter the smoothness of the best caramel. Each flavor was subtle with just the right balance of flavor and sweetness. If you’re a chocolate connoisseur, you have to give Christopher Elbow chocolates a try.

Coconut Caramel

Vanilla Bean Caramel

Milk Chocolate Turtle with Sea Salt

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