To be completely honest, I’m glad I don’t live in Toronto for a few reasons, but the one that is jumping to mind has to do with Soma Chocolatemaker. If I did live there, I’d be down there at every opportunity, nose pressed up against the window like a scene out of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory before finally going in, hoping that my credit card didn’t get declined. Basically, it wouldn’t be pretty. Plus this way, every time someone visits me from T.O. (short for Toronto, Ontario for the non-Canadians), I get to look forward to an occasional Soma goodie bag instead which is a much more acceptable form of chocolate-related madness.
This latest one brought a bar of their incredible Dark Fire (which was reviewed as part of the Soma Exploration Box ) which meant I could finally eat the one I’ve been keeping in reserve so that I always have some available when I need it, and also a strange looking bar called Old School.
I actually thought they had started baking brownies when I saw it because it has that same cracked top to the bar. But it turns out that Old School is made of partially ground cocoa nibs and crystals of organic cane sugar and nothing else, then pressed together into a very unusual bar of chocolate. It sometimes tastes a little sweeter than its 66% would suggest, probably because of the sugar crystals that give it a surprising amount of crunch. The larger bits of cocoa nibs add to that texture too, making this a bar that isn’t going to melt away by itself – it needs a little bit of chewing to help it along. It is also a wonderfully messy bar that leaves little pieces behind with every bite.
When it comes down to it, Old School is more an interesting experience than anything else. The nibs bring a bitterness that isn’t always balanced out by the sugar, and while the flavour of the Mexican beans might be authentic in the way that the name of the bar hints at, there are plenty of better tasting bars around. Anyone who really, really likes cocoa nibs might enjoy the rawness of this but it isn’t the finest that Soma has to offer.