Last weekend was Valentine's Day, so it seems appropriate to talk about my favoritest chocolate experience in the Kansas City area. He's the go-to chocolatier around here, and not just by me. His name is Christopher Elbow, and he makes the best chocolate in town.
My last blog talks about ice cream, specifically the artisan ice cream of Glace, where they use Christopher Elbow in their ice cream. When local beer masters Boulevard make their annual Chocolate Ale, they call Christopher Elbow, and together they create the smoothest chocolate beer you could imagine. It's not like other chocolate beers, which tend towards beer with a chocolate aftertaste. This tastes like rich chocolate running down your throat with a beer aftertaste. Lots of beer people are not fond of it, but those of us who worship the cacao know its power and bow before it.
But aside from all of Elbow's work with other local artists, he also makes his own delicate, singular, remarkable chocolates. They are available in his shops here in town and in San Francisco, but they can also be found in other local ships such as Brookside's Roasterie Cafe (The Roasterie is a locally blended coffee and something I have heard many good things about. As I am not a coffee person, I have to rely on others to tell me their opinions on that, but I do know they make a fine cup of tea). And, of course, Elbow's chocolates can be ordered online.
His chocolate introduced me to so many unique flavor combinations. I'd never had lavender in chocolate before visiting his shop. I'd never had chocolates with liquor until I met him. But fancy flavors and artful decorating aside, this is still the best chocolate I have ever tasted. It's what I imagine Willy Wonka's chocolate river tastes like, and a bite of his chocolate takes me right to a grown-up version of that room with the chocolate river and all the edible flowers, to a place of magic and mystery, where anything is possible. (By the way, we are talking about the original, Roald Dahl scripted, Gene Wilder as Wonka version, because no matter what kind of genius tries that again, no one can ever get close to the enchanted movie that sprinkled my childhood with fascination and charm.)
So. Chocolate? Christopher Elbow. Be it in ice cream, ale, or candy form, he can do no wrong to a chocolate lover like me.