Wednesday, September 14, 2016

SOMA Chocolatemaker - Little Big Man bar - Sept. 14, 2016

Chocolate of the Day:

SOMA Chocolatemaker
Little Big Man bar
Very Good
Weight: 1.1 oz. (32.5 g.) / 2.2 oz. (65 g.) total bar
Calories: 167 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $12.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #10 of Ecuador Theme Week, and Day #1 of Nibs Theme Week.

I can't think of a better bar for Chocolate Banquet's 10-year anniversary week. This Little Big Man bar from SOMA Chocolatemaker (Toronto, Canada) has so many great stories to be told.*

First, I feel very glad to be living in a world with so much great craft chocolate. Second, while a trip to Canada would be beautiful this time of year, there's a place right down the street from me where I can buy SOMA and other chocolates from dozens of different places. This still amazes me.

The chocolate makers at SOMA (David, Cynthia and team) have consistently been making creative and high-quality offerings as long as I've been writing about chocolate. Several years ago, I remember parking myself in their shop inside an old, brick whiskey factory, and buying pine-infused and olive oil truffles, and working with a very kind and patient employee at the counter to create a custom sundae, probably with nibs, and finally buying other chocolates that they carried from around the globe. I only left because they were closing.

Today's bar, sealed in a silver pouch, had its own unique story. On one side of this 73% dark blend bar (made with cacao beans from two continents: Ecuador and Madagascar) was a map of the Toronto waterfront that could serve as a treasure map for walkers. You've reached your destination when you arrive at SOMA. (Both walking and chocolate are both close to my heart.)

The bar's relatively low sugar content allowed for great cacao aroma and flavor to shine through: earthy, dark and very slightly nutty, with some surprise licorice (liquorice) sparkle.

But, wait, we're not done yet. On the other side of the bar was a smattering of cacao (or cocoa) nibs, bits of cocoa bean, that added crunchy texture and another dimension of cacao flavor.

*Little Big Man is also the name of a stage play and movie about storytelling.

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