I’m told that I’m difficult to shop for, but there are some things that are a pretty safe bet. Like, for instance, some good chocolate. Especially when that chocolate comes from Toronto’s Soma Chocolatemaker. So when I got a what looked like an eight inch sausage from there for my birthday from a friend, I was intrigued.
I wasn’t quite sure what I was holding in my hands because I know that lots of people play around with chocolate and meat and so I assumed that that was what this was. After all, it is packaged to look just like a salami, right down to the string netting around it and the painting of a surprisingly happy pig on the label.
It turns out that the pig is happy because there’s nothing porcine in the salami – just chocolate and other sweet things. Those include candied orange peel, sun dried cherries, feuilletine pieces, coconut, almonds, hazelnuts, nibs and a healthy splash of rum, all of which go to create one of the best smelling things that has ever come out of the Soma kitchen.
The aroma is the absolute embodiment of the festive season – spices and fruit and booze and chocolate. I want to have one just to sniff whenever I feel sad because it makes me smile. Unwrapped, it still accurately mimics a salami with its light glazing, but cutting into it reveals something which looks a lot like a black pudding – kind of crumbly and speckled with lots of different bits and pieces scattered throughout the salami.
Surprisingly, it doesn’t taste nearly as boozy as it smells. The rum lurks in the background giving a touch of warmth that lingers, but it doesn’t dominate. Instead, it is the chocolate and spices that take the lead with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. The texture is a little unusual because there is so much stuff in there although when it comes down to it, it is like a really big truffle with a bit of crunch and chewiness.
It is very rich though and it isn’t easy to eat much in one sitting for that reason but as a fun, unusual piece of social chocolate to share it is hard to think of anything better because this chocolate salami is a real delicious conversation starter. But since this is a seasonal item for Soma, you’ll have to wait until December to pick one up so be patient…