Saturday, February 2, 2013

Christopher Elbow - No. 15 Dark Nib bar - February 2, 2013

Chocolate of the Day: 

Christopher Elbow
No. 15 - Dark Nib bar
Good - Good +
Weight: 1.16 oz. (33.3 g.) / 3.5 oz. (100 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 198 calories (estimate, per label) in 1/3 bar
Cost: $7.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: CocoaBella, San Francisco, CA

Today was Day #4 of Chocolate and Nibs Theme Week.

This No. 15 - Dark Nib bar from Christopher Elbow (Kansas City, MO), made with relatively smooth 61% dark chocolate, broke with a hard snap. The bar contained some fleeting, mostly pleasant, earthy flavor notes -- likely from the smattering of roasted cacao nibs.

Christopher Elbow, trained as a pastry chef, became interested in chocolates while in the restaurant business and, according to a video interview, has never looked back since then. His desire to create a professional line of chocolates and bars, with artistry and authentic flavors, is evident.

This bar did not exhibit the distinct flavor arc present in some small artisan makers' bars. But short of becoming a small batch chocolate maker who makes all their own bean-to-bar or liquor-to-bar chocolate from scratch -- that requires extra time, equipment and expertise -- it's difficult to create and maintain unique flavor profiles over time. Consistency and/or smoother flavors often win out over seasonal variations in chocolate, wine and other favorite foods.

For those in the San Francisco area who are interested in exploring this chocolatier's confections, at the time of this writing there was a relatively new Christopher Elbow retail location on Hayes Street in San Francisco; and the Cocoa Bella Chocolates shop (in the Westfield San Francisco Centre shopping mall) also carried their chocolates.

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