SOMA Chocolates: You Simply Cannot Resist!
Travelling gives us that opportunity to discover culture through the food that local people eat. In my own limited (but rich :-D) experience of travel, I noticed that chocolate appears to be part of the local culture; not only because it is the great equalizer among all desserts but because people have created so much from the high and mighty cacao beans. Remember the film, ‘Like Water for Chocolate?’
Interestingly, some of these countries take pride in their chocolate by-products claiming that theirs is the best in the world. The tag, “Belgian or Swiss chocolate,” for example, speaks of the country that has built its reputation on this mouth-watering dessert. I was reminded by my late uncle that a trip to Belgium would not be complete without trying Antwerpse handjes, milk chocolate shaped into hands of the local legend giant, Druon Antigoon. In San Francisco, there is the lip-smacking Ghirardelli Chocolates while across the Pacific, there’s Hawaiian Host, original creator of the uniquely chocolate covered macadamia nuts! Asian chocolates such as Meiji (Japan), Beryl’s (Malaysia) and Goya (the Philippines) are certainly not far behind.
So we thought of traveling to the quaint-old Distillery District of Toronto to check out the chocolate shop called SOMA. This hole in the wall chocolate shop dedicates itself to almost all kinds of chocolate dessert: chocolate ice cream, hot chocolate, chocolate covered nuts, and check this out, fruits and vegetables with chocolates! The shop won’t settle for anything less because the cocoa beans are shipped from the best plantations in the world. They even have their own chocolate laboratory where they make these incredibly good desserts! So I made sure I tried at least some of their truffles, caramels and pralines and left some room for their chocolate gelato (tasted because I got a portion of it from our youngest daughter…yum! 😀 ) and yes, a chocolate drink that reminds me so much of my lola’s (grandmother) home-made chocolate (pronounced tsokolate) with froth created from a batidor (wooden whisk). I also bought some chocolates which are uniquely SOMA’s: milk chocolate for the kids and Peruvian dark with slow roasted almonds (64%dark chocolate) for my wife. SOMA is certainly one place that says so much about Toronto’s genteel but vibrant culture and is a must-see the next time you swing by the East Coast. Enjoy!
Cacao sacks on display
Chocolates from the world over!
SOMA’s chocolate sampler: Yum!
Chocolate ice cream like there’s no tomorrow!