SOMA Chocolatemaker: Embodying the Essence of Chocolate

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…

  1. 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”
  2. The tasting notes on the bar were listed as “chocolate, honey and grapefruit”
  3. 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)
aerial view of beach and huts
Photo by Damon Hall on Pexels.com

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An Italian Love Affair: Amedei Chocolate

THIS POST WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED in 2017 AND UPDATED ON JULY 3, 2020.

How do you choose which chocolate bar to buy? Sometimes, you just have to listen to what speaks or calls to you. An Italian brand, Amedei, on the top shelf at a fine foods grocery store in DC, whispered in Italian: Andiamo.

The packaging of Amedei chocolate bars immediately provided an escape and began sharing a rich story. In particular, the Toscano Blond Cioccolato Fondente Extra 63% Con Pesche e Albicocche bar– dark chocolate (63%) with peaches and apricots, showcased a watercolor painting of a peach tree and the Amedei logo in a black square with a gold perimeter.

Time Cupsoul research revealed that: Amedei Srl, headquartered in Pontedera (Pisa), Italy, was founded by Cecilia Tessieri, the “maitre chocolatier.” Ameidei is the surname of Tessieri’s grandmother, who helped support the shop’s opening, along with other members of the family, in 1990. Tessieri started in a small shop making pralines and was later trained as an apprentice in Europe (Germany, France, Belgium). The first Amedei branded chocolate bars became available in 1998. Since, Amedei brand has won the “Golden Bean” award from the Chocolate Academy of London for bean to bar.

This was the first time ever that Time Cupsoul tasted cocoa with peaches and apricots. The unique combination was certainly alluring.

First snap of the bar was a bit softer than some other chocolate brands, which shortly after, made way for a decadent, soft mouth-feel (and texture) somewhat akin to “cocoa: chocolate brownie” on the chocolate tasters wheel. Savoring the flavors developed significant cocoa notes, including: melted chocolate ice cream, dry cocoa and baked brownie. More subtle notes included nutty: walnut and a touch of dairy. The peach and apricot pieces were finely intermixed within the cocoa, and therefore came through as fruity notes (and perhaps even a tad “floral”), but still, the cocoa notes reigned. It would be interesting to learn cocoa bean origin for this bar.

colorful cliffside village
Photo by Michael Block on Pexels.com

Time Cupsoul is very tempted to try the pistachio, hazelnut and red berry variations of these bars. Trying Amedei was a definite time cupsoul. 

You can buy Amedei chocolate bars online here.

Chocolate/Branding: Amedei Tuscany, Toscano Blond Cioccolato Fondente Extra 63% Con Pesche e Albicocche, with envelope-style packaging, semi-thick textured card-stock.

Description/Packaging Highlight:

 “Chocolate. The reward of our childhood. The softness of a warm embrace. The energy that makes us want to act, create and discover. The temptation which is so sweet to surrender to. The gift we love to give and wish we’d receive a little more often. A journey to distant lands to help the best cocoa varieties grow and thrive. Forming relationships of friendship, respect and partnership with the people who live where cocoa grows, keepers of ancient knowledge. An encounter with the past and a link to future. Chocolate. We make it just for you, with love.”

Zero additives: “Pure cocoa butter, soy lecithin and gluten free without colouring agents and artificial flavours.” Kosher dairy.

*Please note that all chocolate bars consumed and reviewed are randomly chosen and purchased with personal funds. This post is not sponsored contains affiliate links, which means if you click through and do buy something, you may help support an insatiable coffee and chocolate habit. 🙂

Doting on Antidote’s Dark Chocolate Ginger Bar

How long has it been since we’ve written a review/musing? COVID-19 has us all cooped up inside, washing our hands, and wearing a mask when we take occasional (safe-as-possible) walks. And on top of the virus, what is happening in the USA right now is so heavy. There’s just no other way to say it. We frequently turn to chocolate to comfort and nourish our souls during these strange and difficult times.

Before COVID-19 and physical distancing, we were at The Chocolate House in DC and picked up a chocolate stash (fate would have it + you can still order from them online). It was very difficult to choose between the Antidote bars; each one looked better than the last and many bars matched with ancient gods and goddesses. How unique was this?! Chocolate and ancient folklore. Something we’ve been researching during COVID!

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Ruby Chocolate: The First Taste Test…!

It’s here. Ruby chocolate. Time Cupsoul was gifted a bar from family that traveled to the EU. The Fortnum & Mason bar, “Ruby Chocolate,” was now in hand.

The packaging states, “Made by secret natural chocolate alchemy, Ruby is Milk, White and Dark chocolate’s delicious newfound sibling. Intense berry fruit, gloriously tart, subtly sour-sweet. 47% cocoa solids.”

Time Cupsoul could not wait. Was the historical chocolate bar just moments from the lips?

The bar was enthusiastically unwrapped to unveil a gorgeous rose hue, and small chocolate squares at the ready. It even smelled somewhat floral, yes, again like roses. Time for the first taste

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