The Soma Porcelana 70% Dark Chocolate Bar is crafted from one of the rarest cacao beans on earth. In fact, these precious Porcelana beans are often referred to as the holy grail of cacao. Porcelana cacao possesses a perfect balance of acidity/fruit and lower levels of astringency and bitterness. Prominent in the flavor profile are notes of nuts, caramel, and spice, with a buttery texture. The name Porcelana comes from the smooth, translucent and enamel-like, unripe pods that hang from the tree. Also, the unripe beans, called cotyledons, are pure white, typical of true Criollo beans. However, Porcelana cacao is the purest form of Criollo cacao and has always been regarded throughout cacao's long history as being the finest and demanding the highest price.
Soma was able to secure just a few bags of these treasured beans from the region south of Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela to create a bar they call "quiet and mighty." When working with these delicately flavored, light colored beans, a very gentle roast and conch is in order. The flavor arc of this extraordinary and complex bar is rich and full-bodied with tasting notes of cream, cashews, figs, grass, strawberries, coconut, honey and orange marmalade that linger on the palate in the exceptionally long finish.
- International Chocolate Awards World Gold 2015
- International Chocolate Awards Americas Gold 2016
- Academy of Chocolate Silver Winner 2017
Husband and wife team, David Castellan and Cynthia Leung turned their hobby and passion into a business in 2003 and are now considered among the best chocolate makers in the world.
Their delicious and beautiful micro-batch bars regularly win top prizes at the International Chocolate Awards, and my teacher, Dr. Maricel Presilla, co-founder and Americas Director of the International Chocolate Awards is their fan not only because they produce superior craft chocolate, but also because when they don't receive an award they are genuinely interested in learning what they need to do to improve their next batch of bars. Cynthia and David listen and take criticism with appreciation and a desire to do their absolute best, implementing the advice of experts with dedication and humility.
In their former careers, David was pulling late nights as a pastry chef and Cynthia worked long days at an architecture firm. They draw upon their rarefied skills to do their beautiful work creating all things chocolate at SOMA, with a long list of high-quality, tasty confections, as well as single origin bars made from the most exclusive of beans. These treats are available in their two specialty shops and Cocoa Bean Lab in Toronto, or you can find several of their amazing bars right here, at Barometer Chocolate!
I was drawn to Soma Chocolate not only because it is mind-blowing, but also because of the name. You see, as a proud resident of the South Orange / Maplewood, New Jersey community, also referred to as "Soma," I feel it is my civic duty to carry this stellar brand. Cynthia and David chose to name their dreamy company "Soma" as a nod to the drink used in ancient India as part of the Vedic culture. It was likely a juice made from a hallucinogenic mountain plant that was considered a sacred drink, similar to ambrosia. In fact, it was regarded as a drink of the gods. In Aldous Huxley's book Brave New World, Soma represents a way to escape pain, discomfort, embarrassment, sadness and anger, all while enhancing joy, arousal and an overall sense of well being. I'll raise my square of Soma Chocolate to that!
The craft chocolate industry has exploded since Cynthia and Dan started Soma in 2003. I love and admire their approach to artisanal chocolate making. When asked if Soma has visions of expansion in a 2018 interview, Cynthia said, "I never thought there would be so many opportunities to grow big, and I never thought that's what we'd be trying to avoid, but we just want to stay small - and great." Amen to that.
- Ingredients: Pure Porcelana Cacao Nibs, Organic Cane Sugar, Cocoa Butter
- Net Weight: 65 g. / 2.3 oz.
- Country of Origin: Canada