Chocolate Heaven for Celiacs in Toronto

When I was diagnosed with celiac disease, one of the thoughts I consoled myself with was that at least I could still have chocolate. I was only partially right: chocolate is naturally gluten-free, but some companies add wheat or malt for flavoring or consistency. It turned out that some of my favorite treats contained gluten, including Lindt milk chocolate truffles, and Smarties, a British analog to M&Ms (I grew up in Canada, so this was a much loved childhood candy).

I have a sweet tooth, so finding delicious gluten-free chocolates has become an ongoing quest for me. That’s why I was delighted to discover SOMA Chocolatemaker in Toronto. The shop is located in the city’s Distillery Historic District, a network of restaurants and boutiques housed in Victorian red-brick factory buildings that once contained the largest alcohol distillery in the British Empire. Depending on when you visit, you might catch the chocolate-makers at work behind the clear glass wall. Chocolates made in-house are displayed with signs alerting visitors to the presence of gluten or common allergens. There are several gluten-free bars to choose from, but my favorite is the elegantly uncomplicated blend of milk chocolate and dried cherries. SOMA’s truffles are expensive, but they pack such punch (think aromatic bergamot with bittersweet chocolate, or caramel inside dark Venezuelan chocolate dotted with fleur de sel) that having just one is supremely satisfying.

SOMA also makes ice cream and sorbet on-site as well. While the waffle cones aren’t gluten-free, you can get the frozen treats in a dish. Choices vary with the season, but the ones I’ve enjoyed include the lemon sour cream, the exceptionally rich Venezuelan vanilla, and the Ontario blueberry sorbet. Since SOMA produces its products in small batches, not all flavors are available on every visit — but that’s just more incentive to drop in on a regular basis.

SOMA Chocolatemaker [address] Distillery Historic District, 55 Mill Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada [tel] 416-815-7662 [email] [web]

3 thoughts on “Chocolate Heaven for Celiacs in Toronto

  1. My daughter has a sweet tooth too and will be thrilled to be able to visit the SOMA Chocolatemaker and have a gelato ice cream or chocolate treat without worrying about gluten!

    In case you haven’t come across it already, here is a link to her website where she has compiled a list of restaurants etc. in Ontario that list gluten free options:

  2. I really miss Lindt chocolate. It was always my favorite. Also, I loved Smarties, they were such a staple. Do they really not have Smarties in the States? I’ve been there many times, but never really taken any note of that.

    Hmm…. basically all true chocolatiers, with little shops around where ever you live are good. If they make their chocolate in store or at a special facility, they can usually tell us if the chocolate is gluten free (or they will have ingredient lists if they are unsure). Mmm…I need to go get some chocolate…

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