Toronto Travel: Record-Breaking Twenty Bars!

10 May
Chocolate on top of chocolate: taking a hot cocoa break at Soma Chocolatier, Toronto.

Chocolate on top of chocolate: taking a hot cocoa break at Soma Chocolatier, Toronto.

And you thought starting this blog with 19 chocolate bars from New York City was a little absurd. I brought home 20 bars from Toronto.

Talk about leaving no bean behind.

We did a lot of walking in our week away. Between the poutine, the peameal bacon (neither of which I was overly fond of), the pastries (which were excellent, thanks to the many small French bakeries) and the food of a dozen ethnic neighborhoods, we had no choice. Toronto boasts a considerable immigrant population, with more than half its residents born outside of Canada, and 20 percent of all of Canada’s immigrants residing here. Over 140 different languages are spoken in Toronto, and the city’s varied cuisines reflect the newcomers’ tastes. Luckily for the chocophile, this means never having trouble finding a new or favorite dessert, bar or beverage. I found new-to-me brands in upscale markets, in grocery and drug stores and in specialty shops such as bookstores and the outrageous Soma Chocolatier, a spot that came highly recommended, and turned out to be a high point of the trip. I’ll be reviewing them over the next few months, starting with two bars:

Valrhona Abinao Puissant & Tannique ((Powerful and Tannic) 85%: The box is dark. The wrapper inside the box is dark. The second you open the box, you smell the darkness. Powerful, indeed. And you are drawn to this bar, done as well as everything Valrhona does. It’s rich, strong, not as bitter as you would think 85% would be. Fruity and woody with a perfect balance of cacao and sugar.

Camino Fair Trade Organic 55%: This ought to be better, given that it’s from Switzerland and despite the fact that it’s organic. It’s got a nice, chewy texture, but the smell and the taste are just plain “off.” The odor and flavor are reminiscent of raw citrus and metal; that classic conundrum I’ve run into so often, even with the well-known organic/fair trade bars. The idea is good but the execution, not so much.


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3 responses to “Toronto Travel: Record-Breaking Twenty Bars!

  1. KK

    May 10, 2013 at 8:53 am

    20 bars? Looks like you have a lot of tasting to look forward too! I’ll keep my eye on your blog, you can count on that! lol.

    • nancymn

      May 10, 2013 at 2:36 pm

      Thanks, and I hope you enjoy. Feel free to disagree; that’s the point of having this out there. None of us tastes things the same way.

      • KK

        May 10, 2013 at 3:20 pm

        Exactly, but that’s what keeps it interesting! 😉


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