Quick Links: List of American Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Makers, List of Canadian Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Makers, List of UK Bean to Bar Chocolate Makers, The Raw Chocolate List, Organic & Fair Trade Chocolate List (U.S. & Canada), Soy-Free Chocolate List, Dark Milk Chocolate List, List of Specialty Chocolate Retailers, List of No Cane Sugar Chocolate, List of Cocoa Bean Suppliers, How to Temper Chocolate, Chocolate Recipes.
Thursday, March 2, 2017
Chocolate of the Day (Day 4): Soma's Deep Dark Blend
So this morning I was tasting my lovely line-up of Soma chocolate bars, and picked what I thought was the most interesting bar for discussion today: the Crazy 88. This chocolate bar is called 'crazy' because it is a blend of six different origin cocoa beans, including: Brazil, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Madagascar, Peru and Venezuela. I am fascinated by the unique flavour combination that has resulted from this blend.
This chocolate bar is very bitter, in fact it seemed nearly too bitter at first, even for a girl like me who regularly eats 100% dark chocolate. But with each piece, its mysterious taste became almost a must-have dietary need. The description of 'green bananas' captivated me when I read it on Soma's package because it instantly articulated the flavour for me, when before I could not conjure a description to save my life. And it is not only the taste of green bananas, but it is the experience of green bananas, where your tongue is almost left with an intense dryness.
As the chocolate melts in the mouth, it seems to move from green bananas to a coffee cream taste and some nuttiness that lingers. And each time it fully melts away, I am left wanting more so I can continue to 'figure it out'. There really does seem to be a mystery surrounding this chocolate flavour. And perhaps because it is the result of blending so many unique-flavoured origin beans.
Why blend origins? Blending origins gives the chocolate maker a chance to master a flavour profile, like tone down some high acidity in one bean by balancing it with a creamy and mild bean, or add a fruity or floral flavour to an otherwise bland or mild-tasting bean. In the case of Crazy 88, Soma's founder, David Castellan, has taken many different 'famous' and highly coveted origin beans, like Venezuela 'Ocumare' and the Peru 'Maranon' beans and created a master mix of sorts.
If you are looking for an example of another blended chocolate bar, and perhaps in a slightly sweeter style, Soma has a very interesting 70% chocolate called Dual Origins, Little Big Man. It takes the fruity tartness of a Madagascar bean, and combines it with the nutty and creaminess of an Ecuador bean. It seems to start with the taste of nuts, then moves to black liquorice, then brings on some red fruit and berry flavours on the finish. Truly an interesting balance of origin flavours (and one that is a little easier to articulate!).
So if you are into super dark chocolate, like the 85% or 90% dark chocolate, or simply want to expand your horizons and explore blended origin chocolates, I recommend you give Soma's Crazy 88 bar a try. After all, you can now buy online! Learn more at: www.somachocolate.com. And while there, don't forget to try the oh-so-creamy CSB Chama, the Raspberry bar (to die for!), the Arcana 100%, and many of Soma's other treats, like the tree branch or their single origin truffles...I could go on and on...
I have always respected and admired this chocolate maker for the interesting and delicious combinations, but I just learned during my last trip to Sudbury that I went to the same high school as Soma Chocolate founder, David Castellan! We did not attend at the same time, but it was not far off. Who knew our little Sudbury Secondary School would not only turn out actors, singers and dancers, but chocolate makers as well. :-)