We were lucky enough to get our hands on a few of this very limited edition bar from Soma.
The delicate and rare Venezuelan Porcelana beans used in this bar, are gently roasted and conched by Soma just enough for the cacao’s flavours to reveal themselves. We detected sweet, refreshing green notes a little reminiscent of sugar-snap peas. Both the flavour and texture of the smooth chocolate remind us of thick, fresh cream.
Delicate notes of summer berries and nuts are mixed into the creamy flavour. The subtle bar has absolutely no bitterness and a very low astringency. Long after the chocolate has melted, the flavours linger lightly on the tongue, melding together in a beautifully long finish.
It has taken Soma over 10 years to get hold of just a few bags of the Venezuelan Porcelana beans used in this bar. These were sourced from Estación Experimental Chama, a seed bank dedicated to preserving the Porcelana variety and providing seedling to farmers so that they can grow and revive the historic and extremely rare bean.
The beans grow on the southern side of Lake Maracaibo. The names ‘Porcelana’ is a reference to the smooth white appearance of the unripe pods (the unripe beans themselves are almost translucent). The chocolate of course is still brown but has a much lighter hue. Porcelana is notoriously difficult to grow: the pods have particularly thin skins, making them susceptible to disease and infections.
This bar won gold in the International Chocolate Awards 2015 Americas competition.