From what I’ve tasted so far, I’ve come to really appreciate Soma Chocolatemaker with their rather splendid bars created from small batches of chocolate made in their Toronto factory. Nevertheless, there is still something really intimidating about any 100% chocolate. Just that number and the realisation that there is nothing to dull or sweeten the flavour of the cocoa beans. This is a really thin line to walk along because disaster lies on either side. There is absolutely no room for error. And Soma absolutely nails it with their Arcana 100% bar.
Even from the outside, it looks like a special bar of chocolate. Their futuristic, space-food-esque packaging is rather appealing, not to mention it does make sure that the contents are fresh too. And once it is torn open, the rich, rich aroma comes flooding out in an almost overwhelming way. A good time to pause and consider if you really want to do this. My nose says yes.
The bar might be a little on the small side at a mere 45 grams, but this isn’t the kind of chocolate that you wolf down. It has a nice high gloss and when snapped, it breaks cleanly without much crumbling, suggesting that this isn’t going to be overly dry like some high percentage bars. In fact, it is a remarkably smooth and satisfying chocolate that doesn’t quite hide its pedigree but doesn’t scream 100% either.
Soma use four different types of beans from Papua New Guinea, Ghana, Madagascar and Ecuador, and that is reflected in the complexity of the flavour. It starts off, not surprisingly, with a rush of bitterness that doesn’t last nearly as long as expected. Instead, it changes into a second wave of burnt fruitiness with warm, leathery undertones that continue to shift in surprisingly subtle ways. And those almost constant shifts are what will keep you coming back for nibble after nibble until the whole bar is gone. Eating a 100% bar really shouldn’t be this easy.
And now it’s all gone and I find myself still wanting more, signifying that this is an extraordinary bar of chocolate. If you are feel the need to experiment with the darkest and purest of chocolate, you should search some Arcana 100% out because you will not be disappointed.