Review: Taza Chocolate

Spooky craft chocolate for the big kids  
By ARIEL SHEARER  |  October 31, 2011


If lately you've been hit with the trick-or-treat nostalgia blues, longing for simpler times when the best costumes still came in our sizes, do not resort to reproduction. You don't need to a spawn a child to score free chocolate this Halloween, or any day of the year, at the Taza chocolate factory in Somerville. The local organic, direct-trade chocolate start-up is celebrating Día de los Muertos by offering some free holiday-themed goodies.

Taza really gets us chocolate freaks, making guilt-free sweets to spoil our adult dark sides. With the Taza factory tucked deep in a neighborhood of auto yards and tow lots, at the end of a winding backstreet bordered with towering graffiti'd fences, an extended lack of visibility and sidewalks makes the trek from Cambridge Street decently spooky. If you make it to the office complex where Taza is located, signs will lead you to a black door you don't feel like you're supposed to open. But when you do, the sweet aroma of cacao fumes perks up your senses instantly. Their welcoming sign is a vibrant "Cacao Corner" mural, honoring the Mexican painting tradition with its bright colors and floor-to-ceiling size.

Right now, the store is even decorated with neon tissue-paper cutouts of skeletons and other Día de los Muertos themes. But Taza is really going all out for All Saints this year in celebration as well. They're hosting a free Day of the Dead fiesta on Saturday, October 29, from 1 to 6 pm, starting with a mariachi-and-chocolate parade planned to gather at the Union Square farmer's market and march to the Taza factory, where samples of "Mass-Mex" cuisine will be available all day. So don't take candy from any babies this year.

Those attending in costume will receive 10 percent off goods in the factory store. In addition to the freebies, Taza's stocking some Day of the Dead–themed specialties — skull-shaped chocolate lollipops ($3 each), and special three-chili-cinnamon chocolate disks in colorful cempazuchil (marigold flower) packaging, playing on the holiday tradition of offering these flowers to souls of the deceased. The sweet-bitter, zesty punch of this rich masterpiece could surely appease the ficklest souls — both of the dead and the living.

TAZA FACTORY STORE, located at 561 Windsor St, in Somerville, is open Wednesday-Friday, 11pm-6 am, Saturday-Sunday, 10 am-6 pm. Call 617.284.2232 or visit

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  Topics: On The Cheap , Somerville, Taza Chocolate, Taza Chocolate
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