HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
What have you made lately? Get great advice
TELL US

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.

  1. a
    autopi Dec 14, 2012 05:45 PM

    have you tried xococava? they have a pretty nice range of truffles.

    1 Reply
    1. re: autopi
      prima Dec 14, 2012 07:50 PM

      I've only tried their ice cream. Thanks for reminding me about xococava.

    2. TorontoJo Dec 14, 2012 06:50 PM

      But...but...it's SOMA! Why would you want to replace them? I dream about their chocolates and gelato.

      :o)

      6 Replies
      1. re: TorontoJo
        prima Dec 14, 2012 07:49 PM

        :-) 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. ;-)

        1. re: prima
          Googs Dec 17, 2012 03:00 PM

          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.
          http://www.orderline.com/chocolate/category.taf?function=category&categ_id=5

          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.
          http://www.laurasecord.ca/en/home/index

          1. re: Googs
            prima Dec 17, 2012 03:21 PM

            Thanks, Googs.

            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!

            1. re: prima
              Googs Dec 17, 2012 03:58 PM

              Kids. Pfft. You can't live with them, you can't sell 'em.

              I like Mrs See's packaging ideas. Having a dark chocolate box of soft centres and another of nuts & chews sure would solve a lot of problems for Beau and I.

              1. re: Googs
                prima Dec 17, 2012 04:19 PM

                Ha! They weren't kids complaining with that particular box of Soma, they were the Baby Boomers in my cooking class!

                I like Mrs. See's packaging ideas, too.

            2. re: Googs
              c
              cubmike74 Dec 18, 2012 09:33 AM

              I'm a fan of Leonidas if I'm looking for something not quite as 'fancy' as soma, but a step up from pot of gold.

        2. jlunar Dec 14, 2012 07:49 PM

          Eitelbach has been around for years and they also have baumkuchen on offer!

          4 Replies
          1. re: jlunar
            prima Dec 14, 2012 08:23 PM

            thanks, jlunar!

            1. re: jlunar
              a
              auberginegal Dec 17, 2012 09:08 AM

              just went to their website (as i was not familiar with baumkuchen) and it says they aren't in operation :(

              1. re: auberginegal
                jlunar Dec 17, 2012 12:42 PM

                Oh no...!! They've been alive for years, I didn't even think to check. :( What a shame!

                1. re: jlunar
                  a
                  auberginegal Dec 17, 2012 12:55 PM

                  agreed. earlier this year i stopped by and decided against picking up some truffles...definitely regret that now :(

            2. CocoaChanel Dec 14, 2012 09:44 PM

              Stubbe! Mmmmmm
              :)

              5 Replies
              1. re: CocoaChanel
                CocoaChanel Jan 1, 2013 04:27 PM

                Good gourd!! Stubbe's Kir Royale and Pear William truffles are da bomb!

                (To me, the champagne ones taste like what I imagine feet would taste like. They are the only ones I have come across that I genuinely dislike)

                1. re: CocoaChanel
                  Googs Jan 3, 2013 09:16 AM

                  Moving my post. Please remove.

                  1. re: CocoaChanel
                    Googs Jan 3, 2013 09:17 AM

                    @CocoaChanel: To some fetishists that might be a good thing.

                    1. re: Googs
                      CocoaChanel Jan 3, 2013 02:57 PM

                      Bwahahahahaha, Googs!

                    2. re: CocoaChanel
                      prima Jan 3, 2013 09:46 AM

                      I'll keep the Kir Royale and Poire William in mind next time I'm in the 'hood. ;-)

                  2. Wahooty Dec 14, 2012 10:54 PM

                    The Belgian Chocolate Shop in the Beaches.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Wahooty
                      Wahooty Dec 15, 2012 06:32 PM

                      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.

                      1. re: Wahooty
                        prima Dec 16, 2012 04:11 PM

                        Thanks Wahooty. Will try BCS next time I'm in the neighbourhood.

                        1. re: Wahooty
                          g
                          gembellina Dec 17, 2012 08:59 AM

                          Melt quickly like on a transatlantic flight in a suitcase? Or quickly once they're in my hot little paw? Trying to decide on a box to tkae back to London for a present for my mum...

                          1. re: gembellina
                            Wahooty Dec 17, 2012 10:40 AM

                            Quickly in your hot little paw. :) When I brought similar chocolates back from Belgium, they were kept adequately refrigerated in my checked baggage. I imagine this time of year they would hold up even better.

                      2. s
                        SweetSweetPotato Dec 15, 2012 08:32 AM

                        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?

                        1. s
                          Snarf Dec 15, 2012 05:28 PM

                          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.

                          1. justxpete Dec 15, 2012 06:18 PM

                            Odile chocolate on Dundas makes some really good chocolates. Some can be on the expensive side, but she sources fair-trade chocolate from many different regions. She also has delicious brownies. It's 3-4 doors down from Porchetta & Co (west).

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: justxpete
                              prima Dec 16, 2012 04:10 PM

                              Thanks, JXP and SweetSweetPotato. Think I'll give Odile a try.

                              1. re: prima
                                justxpete Dec 17, 2012 10:45 AM

                                Let me know what you think!

                                Ps, I *think* they are closed Sun-Mon or Sun-Tues, but not entirely certain.

                                1. re: justxpete
                                  prima Dec 17, 2012 03:26 PM

                                  http://www.odilechocolat.com/

                                  Odile Chocolat retail store

                                  829 Dundas Street West

                                  open:

                                  Wednesday to Friday 11am to 6pm

                                  Saturday 10am to 6pm

                                  Sunday 11am to 5 pm

                                  also available at

                                  •La Fromagerie - 868 College Street,

                                  416-516-4278

                                  •The Mercantile - 297 Roncesvalles Avenue,

                                  416-531-7563

                                  •The Healthy Butcher - 298 Eglinton St. West,

                                  416-674-2642

                                  •Le Thobors - 627 Mt. Pleasant Road,

                                  416-544-1733

                            2. MissBingBing Dec 16, 2012 05:30 PM

                              I like Delight.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: MissBingBing
                                prima Dec 17, 2012 03:25 PM

                                thanks!
                                http://www.delightchocolate.ca/chocol...

                                1. re: prima
                                  s
                                  Snarf Dec 17, 2012 06:26 PM

                                  Coco is the one of the former makers from Delight gone rogue.

                                  1. re: Snarf
                                    prima Dec 31, 2012 08:44 AM

                                    Thanks, snarf.

                                    I'll try Coco in the New Year.

                                    https://twitter.com/cococrafted

                                    http://www.coco-chocolates.ca/

                              2. prima Dec 31, 2012 08:18 AM

                                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:
                                Specialty Truffles
                                • Mexicana
                                Tequila, candied lime peel, chipotle pepper
                                • Romance
                                Champagne, black pepper, rose petals

                                • Caribbean
                                Rum, candied orange peel, cinnamon, clove, cayenne

                                • Bollywood
                                Cardamom, silver leaf

                                • Luigi
                                Grappa, roasted hazelnuts

                                • Chiyo
                                Sake, Japanese green tea

                                • Sea Breeze Vodka, candied grapefruit peel

                                • Gentleman
                                Port wine, candied clementine, walnut

                                Traditional Truffles
                                • Cognac
                                • 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)

                                • Lavender

                                • Moka (espresso coffee)

                                • Chai Masala

                                • Lemon

                                New
                                • Fleur de sel caramel
                                • Vanilla
                                • Raspberry vinegar
                                • Burnt caramel
                                • Lavender caramel

                                Canadiana
                                • Rose
                                Wild Canadian roses (Forbes product)
                                • Mushroom
                                Wild Canadian black trumpet (Forbes product)

                                • Icewine
                                Canadian Icewine Cabernet Franc, late harvest

                                Candied fruit
                                • Lime peel
                                • Lemon peel

                                • Orange peel

                                • Clementine peel

                                • Young ginger

                                Delight Current Chocolate Flavours:

                                (Some chocolates may change)
                                Peanut Butter
                                Ginger
                                Limoncello
                                Maple Butter
                                Toasted Hazelnut
                                Ice Wine
                                Caramel
                                Peanut Butter
                                Eggnog
                                Extra Dark
                                Almond Orange
                                Rum Butter
                                Quebec Blue Cheese
                                Spiced Plum
                                Fig and Balsamic
                                Grapefruit and Chili
                                Raspberry
                                Walnut and Fleur de Sel
                                Vanilla Bean
                                Orange Spice
                                Chocolate Caramel with Smoked Sea Salt
                                Fresh Mint
                                Cappucino
                                Hazelnut Toffee

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: prima
                                  Googs Dec 31, 2012 11:00 AM

                                  The Chiyo sounds amazing. Did you have that one?

                                  1. re: Googs
                                    prima Dec 31, 2012 06:51 PM

                                    Didn't have a chance to try the Chiyo.

                                  2. re: prima
                                    justxpete Dec 31, 2012 07:18 PM

                                    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.

                                  3. meatnveg Dec 31, 2012 08:42 AM

                                    The Nutty Chocolatier on Roncy
                                    Stubbe at Christie & Dupont
                                    Xococava at Delsile Court

                                    1. a
                                      Arcadiaseeker Dec 31, 2012 06:43 PM

                                      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.

                                      1. Ediblethoughts Jan 1, 2013 03:42 PM

                                        Also consider Ambiance Chocolat. Very nice flavours.

                                        http://www.ambiancechocolat.ca/

                                        1. t
                                          tgraybam Jan 1, 2013 08:28 PM

                                          The Chocolateria on Roncy is excellent. Very good truffles. The salted caramel 'sea turtle' is worth the trip. Great homemade ice cream, too.

                                          First class owners.

                                          http://www.thechocolateria.ca/

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: tgraybam
                                            Ediblethoughts Jan 2, 2013 04:57 PM

                                            Agreed! They make good truffles. I wasn't as keen on the turtles (caramel wasn't a nice consistency) but everything else has been good.

                                          2. g
                                            gembellina Jan 14, 2013 02:06 PM

                                            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!

                                            Show Hidden Posts