Toronto is a top destination for chocolate lovers
Being one who has the good fortune to travel often and quite extensively, I have made many dear friends in other cities, and would like to thank my dear friend, Virginia of Toronto, for sending me the best birthday present this chocolate-loving girl could ever hope for: SOMA chocolates. Virginia knows good chocolate as she and I have visited eight countries together for my chocolate research and have eaten chocolate until we had to resort to storing it in our cheeks because it wouldn’t go down.
best chocolate in toronto
For those of you who have never tasted the ecstasy known to me as SOMA chocolate, you are truly missing out. It is without doubt, among the best Canadian-made chocolate I have ever eaten. I adore their dark chocolate truffles filled with ganache made from poignant flavours such as Douglas Fir tree sap, bergamot, Arbequina Spanish olive oil, 8-year-old balsamic vinegar, and local Canadian whisky. They are artistically designed and made from cocoa beans roasted and ground right on the premises.
Virginia was kind enough to send me two of SOMA’s delicious mini bars early on in 2010, which made me schedule a visit to SOMA in June of that year as my personal introduction to what is likely considered Canada’s finest chocolate maker. SOMA’s fresh chocolates are best eaten within 10 days of purchase, so you’ve got to make quick work of it. And yes, my dear chocolate-loving friends, eating chocolate is indeed work for me. But I am one of those lucky individuals who absolutely LOVES my job!
On my chocolate quests to Toronto, I always try to make a trek to SOMA chocolatemaker to indulge in their single origin truffles, unique bars, and other chocolate creations.
My palate has become much more refined during the 11 years I have been immersed in the world of artisan chocolate. It’s much like drinking wine. You’ve got to keep trying different ones to be able to differentiate between them and to find the ones that you particularly like or don’t like and be able to determine why.
SOMA’s single origin truffles are quite incredible! Be sure to try them when you visit the Distillery District, King Street West, or new Brock Street location in the Parkdale neighbourhood.
Something you’ll learn after eating a lot of great chocolate is that there are often several different types of chocolate right within the same small shop. As in the case of SOMA and other fine chocolatemakers … they’re all good. But it is when you get to the purest of chocolate such as the single origin truffles, that you get the flavour, texture, and appearance that sets the best several grades above the rest.
To me, really good chocolate is never too sweet, too bitter, or too gritty. It should be silky smooth (in texture), pure (in ingredients) and intense (in flavour.) And I know I will always find that in the remarkable quality of chocolates I get from SOMA chocolatemaker of Toronto. They are considered by many to be the best Canada has to offer, and indeed, one of the best in the world.
Another great chocolate creation made by SOMA is the Old School bar (available in a milk or dark chocolate version.) This thing is addictive! The bar is now made from Madagascar Trinitario 66% cacao and is crunchy with cocoa nibs. I love it, and it is surprisingly unsweet for a ‘milk’ chocolate. I loved it paired with a nice glass of the Washington-made Merlot pictured above. This delicious treat was previously made using Venezuelan Criollo, but Cynthia at SOMA told me that they’ve switched out much of their previously Venezuelan chocolate recipes for other varietals where quality of the beans can be more securely traced and ensured.
I was happy to include SOMA chocolatemaker on the list I wrote for National Geographic Traveler in 2016 featuring the 10 Best Chocolate Shops in the world. It is a great chocolate company that never ceases to entice and satisfy.
Another great place to discover great chocolate in Toronto is at The Candy Bar. This small shop is owned by Paola Giavedoni, an incredible chocolate curator with a terrific assortment of amazing chocolate from around the world. Don’t miss it if you’re in Toronto and are a fan of handcrafted artisan chocolate.
A special note to my American friends: If you’re looking for SOMA chocolate outside of Canada, you’ll be pleased to learn there is a good assortment of SOMA bars at Chocolate Covered in San Francisco, California. Do check it out, as they sell an incredible assortment of the world’s finest chocolate.