Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Whether Jamaican Chocolate or Peruvian Chocolate I love it all, but these origin chocolate bars are exceptional

Soma Chocolatemaker is certainly one of Canada's most dynamic craft, bean-to-bar chocolate makers. Their product offerings change regularly, which accommodates the chocolate aficionado's need to regularly try new origin-based chocolates. I certainly never get bored on any visit to Soma's two locations in Toronto, or on a visit to their product catalogue on www.somachocolate.com.

In November and December, I held two chocolate tasting workshops that included some of Soma's newer creations. In any tasting workshop, I like to discuss chocolate made from a range of cocoa origins, as well as a chocolate made from different types of cacao (i.e. Criollo, Trinitario, Nacional, etc.). The two bars that I am reviewing today perfectly fit that range. So let's get started...

Soma Peru: Nacional 70%: DNA tests were performed on the Peruvian beans used to make this chocolate bar to be sure it was pure Nacional bean type, the same as the now-famous Ecuadorian Nacional fine-flavour bean. The chocolate bar was as perfectly smooth as Soma's always is. It had a classic chocolate smell, and a sweet and slightly fruity taste. What's more, it offered a beautiful lingering aftertaste of roasted cocoa bean, and a very slight smoke flavour in the breath.

Soma Microbatch Black Science 'Bachelor's Hall' Jamaica 70% is spicy and sweet like berries, with a smoothness on the palette that leaves a lingering honey flavour. In fact, its oh-so-smoothness shows that just the right amount of cocoa butter was added to enhance that honey taste. There is very little acidity, although it is still noticeably there. This chocolate bar is a good neutral one for those who do not like bold or harsh origin flavours.

Soma says they 'wanted to honor the cultural connection between Jamaica and Toronto for many years' (ref: Soma packaging) and in 2014 they finally received an interesting sample of Trinitario cacao from a plantation in St. Thomas Parish. The resulting chocolate bar was well worth the wait.

So what's next?  On January 3rd of this new year, Soma tweeted that they have gotten their hands on some coveted Venezuelan Porcelana beans (http://t.co/GLiCVOQ39R). I am definitely looking forward to their next creation!

Here are the key package details from the chocolate that I wrote about today:

Microbatch Black Science 'Bachelor's Hall' Jamaica 70%, 80g
SOMA chocolatemaker (Toronto, Canada)
Ingredients: Cacao beans, organic cane sugar, cocoa butter. May contain trace amounts of nuts, gluten, soy & dairy.
Batch: BH2
Bean type: Trinitario
Bean Origin: Jamaica

Peru: Nacional 70%, 80g
SOMA chocolatemaker (Toronto, Canada)
Ingredients: Cacao beans, organic cane sugar, cocoa butter. All natural and may contain trace amounts of nuts, gluten, soy & dairy.
Batch: Per2
Bean type: Nacional
Bean Origin: Peru Maranon River Valley


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