Taste Test: Taza Chocolate

Which restaurant uses Taza Chocolate the best: Veggie Galaxy, Harvest, or Poe’s Kitchen?

From left: flourless chocolate cake from Harvest, chocolate-topped mac and cheese at Poe’s Kitchen, chocolate layer cake from Veggie Galaxy. All photos by Fiona Coxe.

This evening, chocolate will likely take a starring role special menus all over town. Boston chocolate fiends are lucky, of course, as we are home to the one and only Taza Chocolate factory, located in Somerville. Dark and rich, Taza Chocolate is crafted in authentic Mexican stone-ground fashion, resulting in a pure, bittersweet flavor (learn more about how their product goes from bean to bar here). As a result, local chefs have been incorporating Taza’s chocolate into their dishes, and I set out to find the most fulfilling one.

First up was the Taza Chocolate layer cake ($5.25) at Veggie Galaxy, located in Central Square. Featuring rich layers of chocolate cake frosted with a sweet, fluffy chocolate icing, this was the chocolate cake of my dreams. The cake itself was moist, with a good crumb texture and a deep chocolate flavor that screamed for a quenching glass of milk. For those craving a classic, dense slice of chocolate cake, this is it. And, by the way, the whole thing is vegan (!!).

My next stop was to Harvest, located in Harvard Square, Cambridge, to try out their fancier Taza Chocolate flourless cake ($11). Out came a dense and creamy slice topped with a peanut butter mousse, salted peanut brittle, an apricot caramel sauce, and mini marshmallows. The cake itself showcased the bittersweet nature of the chocolate, while the texture was pleasantly silky and rich. And thanks to the sweet and slightly floral caramel, the salty and crunchy peanut brittle, and the soft marshmallows, this dessert had a little something for everyone. Though this cake was a bit more expensive, it provided a great dose of luxury and decadence.

Finally, I decided to turn my attention away from sweet dishes and instead headed to Poe’s Kitchen at the Rattlesnake in Back Bay for their mac and cheese (yes, you read that correctly), that’s topped with a sprinkling of Taza’s spicy chocolate ($13.75). Rounding out the flavors were Applewood bacon, smoked Fresno chiles, and Chihuahua cheese. The flavor combination here was unexpected, to be sure, but it was a definite success. The smoky bacon tied everything together, as it both blended well with the gentle heat of the chiles and contrasted with the sweet chocolate. The macaroni itself was a bit overcooked, though the bold flavors made up for it.

Overall, my chocolate craving was satiated best thanks to the classic Taza Chocolate layer cake at Veggie Galaxy. It really was the perfect slice of chocolate cake—and in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, it’s perfect to share with someone else.

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