Saturday, October 8, 2016

SOMA - CSB Chama bar - Oct. 8, 2016

Chocolate of the Day: 

SOMA Chocolatemaker
CSB Chama bar
Very Good
Weight: 1.15 oz. (32.5 g.) / 2.29 oz. (65 g.) in total bar
Calories: 173 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $14.00 (estimate) for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #8 of Chocolate and Venezuela Theme Week.
The Criollo Santa Barbara (CSB) Chama* bar from SOMA Chocolatemaker (Toronto, Canada) was a special 70 percent, single origin, dark chocolate bar.

What made it special? Well, for starters, the bar may provide evidence that plants can sing.

The cacao used to craft this bar was "a result of a recent project to hybridize Porcelana and Ocumare cacao located at Estacion Experimental Chama in the cacao growing area south of Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela." How's that for a mouthful?

The Lake Maracaibo region in NW Venezuela is known for its fine flavored cacao. The area takes on a mythical quality in origin stories for prized Criollo cacao. It intrigued me to read that a part of the lake is known for almost continual lightning flashes in the sky.

Tasting notes for this bar indicated the resulting three-ingredient bar (made from cacao nibs, organic cane sugar and cacao butter) had several Porcelana characteristics. Porcelana is a prized type of Criollo cacao.

The makers' description: "...a round, delicate chocolate, low astringency with a lingering finish."

The bar had a subtle, not unpleasant slightly earthy, green aroma, and broke with a well-tempered snap. The melt and texture were very smooth.

I'm very fond of complex tasting arcs; and this bar had an incredibly musical one. I found myself stopping what I was doing to "listen" as I tasted. Subtle flavors kept unfolding to reveal new facets: a light coffee with cream, subtle but rich berry and fig fruit, earth, chocolate, almost nutty, then a gentle tidal surge back toward fruit.

The CSB Chama bar had a light, clean but lingering finish that continued its gentle song for a good few minutes after the last bite.

After I wrote this review I read others, and I was surprised how many times that musical references showed up. Sometimes good foods awaken other senses. Or, maybe sometimes plants have a way of singing to us if we're willing to stop and listen. Look closely at the shapes in this bar, and you'll see a bird wearing shoes, in and amongst cacao pods and flowers. Maybe the bird knows the answer.

It's worth mentioning that this bar won best in show in the Americas and silver in the world final of the International Chocolate Awards in 2015.

*Chama is also a term for a young girl in Venezuela. 

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