alternative to Soma
- prima Dec 14, 2012 05:18 PM
What other chocolates do Chowhounds recommend? I'm interested in chcolates or truffles, not bars. I also like Swiss Master, but looking for something new.
:-) I've brought the same friend a box 2 years in a row, and the last time I brought them, one of her children mentioned that she didn't like Soma! Just thought I'd give something else for a change. Haven't brought them a box of Stubbe or Xococava chocolates before- maybe I'll do that. Or maybe I'll stick with Soma. ;-)
Remember how much you loved and how special you felt when sharing your mother's chocolates when you were a child? I'll bet you can remember your mom's favourite right now. Skip Soma and give memories they'll share.
I agree with Wahooty on Belgian Chocolate Shop. Ordering in advance for store pick-up is advised unless you want to while away some time ogling choices and waiting in line.
Perhaps Soma's just a little too fancy. People always forget about Laura Secord. It hits that spot between high end and factory produced quite nicely I'd say. It's good bang for the buck making it a good choice for families. Buy from the showcase for the freshest on offer.
Our family favourite is Mrs. See's, so we stock up when we're in the western States. ;-)
Purdy's is also good bang for the buck.
Yep, Soma is too fancy for some people. I brought a big box of 4 flavours (feuilletine, spicy Mayan dome, lemon ginger, and espresso crisp) to a cooking class, and I was surprised how many people hate coffee in their chocolate. Or hate ginger in their chocolate. Or don't understand the Mayan dome (cinnamon and chili). So outspoken, and so friggin' picky, considering the chocolate was free (to them), and $2/chocolate for me. That's why only certain friends and family receive Soma from me!
I realized I didn't elaborate on my choice. If your friends "don't like" Soma....the BCS makes beautifully perishable chocolates. The kind that melt very quickly because of the butterfat content. I adore Soma, but their chocolates are on the structural side - it's a very different style.
Odile makes pretty chocolates with a range of flavors and products that would probably please someone who didn't care for Soma. Unless, of course, they're Pot of Gold-types...in that case, The Nutty Chocolatier?
Xococava do nice things with strange flavours if you want that sort of thing. Jerez, olive, chorizo, and a box assortment of bars that are made to taste with particular wines.
If you don't mind a bit of a hike, Coco on Jane near Annette does nice hand made truffles, and also a some interesting shaping work. I was thinking of getting one of my daughters one of the decorated high heels. Chocolate sculpture with different colours providing the accents and details.
Love Soma, but last time I was in the area, they had the black health department sticker up, the one that indicates they are heavily infested with tourists, shop with caution.
Odile Chocolat retail store
829 Dundas Street West
Wednesday to Friday 11am to 6pm
Saturday 10am to 6pm
Sunday 11am to 5 pm
also available at
•La Fromagerie - 868 College Street,
•The Mercantile - 297 Roncesvalles Avenue,
•The Healthy Butcher - 298 Eglinton St. West,
•Le Thobors - 627 Mt. Pleasant Road,
Thanks for all the suggestions. I ended up buying several assorted boxes of chocolates, some cardamom caramels and some caramel brulee caramels at Odile, and 2 boxes of 8 different chocolates at Delight (spiced plum, vanilla, rum butter, cappuccino, ginger, orange almond, non-dairy peanut butter, caramel)
Once I was at Odile, I realized I had purchased Odile chocolates at Dash Kitchen a few years ago.
I found the rum butter, vanilla and ginger Delight chocolates were on the delicate side of flavour, compared to other filled chocolates I've purchased recently. I didn't try the other Delight flavours that I purchased.
Odile's cardamom caramel chocolate was interesting, and loved Odile's caramel brule chocolate. I didn't try the boxed Odile chocolates.
The friends who received chocolates were very happy with them. The Odile chocolates seem to be a contemporary European style chocolate, whereas the Delight chocolates seem to be an updated, organic take on traditional North American-style chocolates.
I also stopped by Stubbe, but most of the chocolate filling flavours seemed to be on the conservative and traditional side, and I wanted a selection that was a little more unique for these particular gifts.
I'll definitely return to Odile. I have a feeling I'll be alternating between Soma and Odile for chocolate gifts from now on.
If only one of the chocolate shops would start up a loyalty programme.I've already suggested a loyalty programme to Soma on several occasions. Hopefully this suggestion will eventually make its way up the O & B ladder.
Odile Chocolat flavours:
Tequila, candied lime peel, chipotle pepper
Champagne, black pepper, rose petals
Rum, candied orange peel, cinnamon, clove, cayenne
Cardamom, silver leaf
Grappa, roasted hazelnuts
Sake, Japanese green tea
• Sea Breeze Vodka, candied grapefruit peel
Port wine, candied clementine, walnut
• Cognac, candied orange peel, Madagascar cocoa
• Cognac, candied young ginger
• Poire William eau de vie, candied pear
• Bourbon vanilla, candied lime peel
• Verveine (lemon verbena)
• Moka (espresso coffee)
• Chai Masala
• Fleur de sel caramel
• Raspberry vinegar
• Burnt caramel
• Lavender caramel
Wild Canadian roses (Forbes product)
Wild Canadian black trumpet (Forbes product)
Canadian Icewine Cabernet Franc, late harvest
• Lime peel
• Lemon peel
• Orange peel
• Clementine peel
• Young ginger
Delight Current Chocolate Flavours:
(Some chocolates may change)
Quebec Blue Cheese
Fig and Balsamic
Grapefruit and Chili
Walnut and Fleur de Sel
Chocolate Caramel with Smoked Sea Salt
Glad you enjoyed Odile. She's a very nice, hard working lady. I alternate between Odile and Soma as well, but for the purpose of eating - not gifting - haha. Leonidas is yet another place I frequent - but only for their milk chocolate and pralines. They do those exceptionally well, despite it being more of a chain and not nearly as exclusive and exceptional as Odile and Soma.
Rogers chocolates (Empress box with a good variety) are extremely tasty. But my new addiction is Mrs. See's candies which I picked up at the airport in San Diego. I bought them for my husband but ended up eating them all myself. These to me are everything a chocolate should be.
I went to what I thought was the Belgian Chocolate Shop in the Beaches but what was actually Chocolate by Wickerhead, about a block further west. Chocs were very nice and had some unusual flavours, but I wasn't completely thrilled. My mum enjoyed them though. Looking forward to trying the right shop next time!