Arcana, Canada, 4 Origin Bar, 100%
Soma, like cacao, is an agricultural product with a legendary history and continued presence. Although there is still debate about what soma actually was, the Vedas – the oldest texts that form the basis of Hinduism – were composed under the influence of this plant. This review is being composed under the influence of a different Soma. (Though I doubt anything I write will become the foundation of a major religion.)
This is my first written review of a Soma bar. Given the history of their name, and the history of cacao, I think their 100% Arcana bar is a perfect place to start. This bar is a blend of four different origin beans: Nicaragua, Camino Verde, Papua New Guinea and Jamaica.
It’s not often you see four beans blended together, how exactly they are interplaying is hard to pinpoint, but I can say that the result is serious. Soma (the drug) was meant to clarify and power the body and mind – much like theobromine.
It smells sweeter than it tastes: leather (which I find floral), pecan wood, and molasses. The flavor itself is resinous and sappy and just a touch salty, like some kinds of dark roast coffees, with a yeasty tone. There is an overall undertone of a gently swaying sweetness that carries over into the finish too. (Gentle and sweet for brut that is.)
What is really amazing is how smooth the texture and ending are. I’m not sure what the ratios of the beans are but Soma has done a great job blending them together into cohesion. No overbearing tannins, or tongue curling sourness, just full flavor.
Tarot fans will definitely recognize the name of the bar: Arcana. I’ve never seen a craft chocolate bar with four origins listed on it; so perhaps this bar is a sign of things to come. If you like dense and salty flavors with a mellow side this could be your wish come true.
Being the son of a chocolatier Chris has always enjoyed talking about chocolate as much as he loves eating it. He’s an artist and designer as well as a co-founder of the Chocolate Codex.