Soma Chocolatemaker: The Distillery District

by Lauren Ching on November 27, 2011

Open for 6 years, Soma Chocolatemaker started off in a smaller shop, 2 doors down from its current location in the Distillery District. It’s grown up and moved to a beautiful high ceiling space with exposed pipes and fully visible chocolate room, where people can watch the fine-tuned process of micro-batch chocolate making.

They have a genuine refurbished Melangeur, manufactured in Barcelona about 80 years ago, and is used to crush the roasted beans to make a rich brown paste called chocolate liquor.

The crowd is a mix of tourist customers and growing neighbourhood regulars, especially with the growth of residential condos shooting up around the area. With both crowds passing through, they’re consistently busy, but I managed to catch owner Cynthia during a lull in crowd on a Wednesday afternoon to chat about chocolate and her and her husband’s passion for the “food of the gods”.

“Alchemy” is defined as “the ability to turn the ordinary into extraordinary,” and Soma Chocolate Makers in the Distillery District do just that as one of the few companies in Ontario to make their own chocolate from scratch. Anything and everything you can imagine covered in chocolate can be found here.

They are famous for their assorted truffles, using all kinds of unique ingredient combinations delectable enough for anyone’s mouth to water. ($2/ piece) 95% of what is sold is produced and packaged here, and 5% are other chocolate makers from around the country. Try the famous balsamic vinegar with Madagascar chocolate truffles – a natural pairing of acidic and sweet. The biscotti is also well known; slow roasted almonds and milk and dark chocolate lend to a rich and delicious flavour. The flourless chocolate cake looks heavenly as well, but all this sweet talk is making my teeth ache, so let me move on.

Couple Cynthia and David traveled to Italy on a journey to explore the Italian love of chocolate and tap into the real chocolate culture before opening their choco-shop. Cynthia divulged that they Bicerin (pronounced ‘bee-chi-ring’) on the menu is their take on the traditional hot drink native to Turin, Italy. The Soma take on Bicerin is made with espresso, melted dark chocolate and lightly whipped cream instead of whole milk. Another wildly popular drink is the Mayan Hot Chocolate. Paying homage to the originas of eating and spicing chocolate, Soma mixes Dark Venezulean chocolate, spiced with cinnamon, Austrailian ginger, orange peel, Madagascar vanilla, and chili peppers to give this drink a rich and peppery flavour. Try it in an intense shot or with steamed milk. ($3.50-$4.15)

Their coffee is from 49th Parallel, roasters out of B.C.. I tried the brew and I’d say that they make a pretty epic espresso. The brew is available to take home, as well as the chocolate bar that both parties collaborated to make. Other fun treats include gelato in the summer, which I can’t wait to try when the weather gets better.

Look out for the upcoming location, opening up at King and Spadina for the semi-west enders of Toronto. They plan on expanding their reach to baked goods, so if you haven’t gotten yourself some chocolately goodness from Soma, you’ll have no excuse!

Soma Chocolatemaker: 55 Mill Street, Toronto, ON, Canada+1 416-815-7662 ‎

Hours of Operation:

Monday – Saturday: 10am-8pm

Sunday: 11am-6pm

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