This article was written in 2018 and updated in 2020.
The 70 percent dark chocolate bar from Dreketi, Vanua Levu Island, Fiji, by Soma Chocolatemaker had a big reputation to live up to…
- Time Cupsoul had never eaten chocolate from Fiji
- According to the brands’ packaging, Fiji’s national flag touts a cacao pod in lions paws (reputation signal and/or national pride, perhaps?) and also explains that, the Fijian concept of “vanua” means the land as an “extension of oneself; including one’s life, sustenance and culture”
- The tasting notes on the bar were listed as “chocolate, honey and grapefruit”
- The Soma Chocolatemaker chocolate molding is one of the most whimsical in the industry, notable for intricate details and a romantic rendition of the cacao forest (cacao pods, tropical birds, and cacao flowers)
Firstly, after buying this chocolate bar, quite on a whim Time Cupsoul decided to research the meaning of “soma” and discovered some interesting facts. Soma is from the Greek word sōma, meaning body, distinct from the soul or mind. Additionally, soma is a plant from which a drink is prepared in Vedic ritual, believed to be the drink of the Gods. Finally, soma is the name for a hallucinogenic peace-inducing drug in Brave New World.
So what is truly behind the name of SOMA the chocolatemaker?
“On making our first batches of chocolate, it was immediately apparent that we had stumbled upon something magical and that our future would be tied to it. In cacao beans, nature has made the perfect ‘Soma’, a mystical substance mentioned in the Rig Veda and later by Aldous Huxley in the novel Brave New World. It was time to start exploring this new frontier.”Soma Chocolatemaker, Our Story
Bingo. On to the tasting.
The snap is easy for the thickness of the bar yet is solid enough to be respectable. The aroma does induce a nectar-like tune, akin to the “honey” that the packaging lists. (The tasting wheel that Time Cupsoul generally uses does not list honey or grapefruit, however.)
The bar’s beauty is, as previously alluded to, striking and beyond compare. Time Cupsoul has never seen such a delicate and ornate chocolate molding.
Soma’s packaging for this bar also lists “chocolate” notes, and the best (Time Cupsoul) classification for this bar is: chocolate – wet brownie; there’s a richness and full-bodied roundness in the chocolate bean. The chocolate is constantly ‘flowing’ on the tongue and doesn’t develop the “cocoa – dry cocoa” feeling. Furthermore, similar to the “grapefruit” listing, this bar has a tropical fruit essence to it. The more accurate category is tropical fruit – pineapple and perhaps also a small element of citrus – orange or lemon.
To express the true taste of this bar is arduous; Soma has crafted and embodied something exceptional. The Soma brand created a fantastical narrative for the patron with this 70 percent Vanua bar. Not only did Soma em”body” (noun: sōma = body) evidently delicious Fijian chocolate, but the presumed “vanua” (holistic concept of land) of the island is further verified by the bold chocolate flavor notes, the illustrative packaging (including word choice) and romantic molding of the bar.
For those of us unable to travel to Fiji, this bar will help transport you there. This experience was a time cupsoul.
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