#WorldChocolateDay: 6 Homegrown Artisanal Chocolate Labels On Our Radar
When you think of artisanal chocolate, the mind immediately thinks of a fine chocolate bar from Belgium or Switzerland. But did you know that you can get your hands on premium-quality chocolates with the best cacao beans (sourced from all around the globe as well as the country) from homegrown labels too? These bean-to-bar labels produce chocolate in small batches and pay attention to detail in every process, right from sourcing to the final product. On the occasion of World Chocolate Day, ditch your diet for today and satisfy your sweet cravings by indulging in melt-in-your-mouth chocolate bars from these homegrown brands.
1. All Things
Based in Jaipur, All Things is a contemporary and innovative chocolate brand that sources its cacao directly from farmers or fair price collectives, grows it under ethical conditions and then pairs it with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The chocolates draw inspiration from tales of your favourite city, colour, flowers or even the best part of your day. For instance, All Things Monday (72% Malabar dark chocolate with granola) is the perfect choice to beat the Monday blues; All Things Summer gives you all the feels of the season since it consists of 72% Malabar Dark Chocolate with Alphonso Mango; and if it’s your birthday, celebrate it with All Things Birthday (white chocolate with champagne and strawberries). Also, don’t forget to check out the baking chocolate section.
2. Mason & Co.
If you’re a sucker for dark chocolate, Mason & Co. is the right choice for you. The label makes dark chocolates in exciting flavours ranging from Zesty Orange to Rosemary and Seasalt. Founded by a lawyer and sound engineer, Jane Mason and Fabien Bontems, the duo started Mason & Co. out of sheer love of eating and making chocolate. The Auroville-based label prides itself in sourcing its cacao beans from Tamil Nadu and Kerela and working closely with the organic cacao farmers to harvest and process some of the best quality beans. What’s more? The chocolates use only organic ingredients and are made by an all-women workforce.
Price: INR 295
Soklet is India’s first and only tree-to-bar chocolate maker, which means they are in control of the chocolate-making process, from the breeding of cacao trees to the tempering of the chocolate bar. Its Single Origin chocolate is made from beans sourced from its own plantations situated in the Anamalai foothills on the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. With an aim to bring the best of all-natural and fine chocolates, its interesting variety of chocolates such as Candied Ginger, Filter Caapi and Desi Rabdi deliver the true flavour of the terroir.
Price: Starting from INR 200
Right from the way it looks to its packaging, Ether chocolates scream luxury. The Mumbai-based chocolate atelier is the brainchild of Prateek Bakhtiani, a chemistry graduate-turned-chocolatier. Combining his knowledge of chemistry with fluid dynamics, Prateek makes some of the finest chocolate tablets and sinful cakes. Hundred per cent of the chocolate used at Ether is of single origin from Peru, Indonesia and Madagascar. Our favourite picks include Lizuna Tablets inspired by Japanese springtime, Smoke (70% Dark Madagascar Cacao, Cherry Wood and Candied Orange Peel), Yuzu (Yuzu, Vanilla Meringue, Dominican Cacao) and Sultan (Milk-Dark Ghana Cacao, Spiced Black Tea and Walnuts).
Price: Starting from INR 575
The New-Delhi based label is run by self-taught chocolate maker Sheetal Saxena and professional coffee roaster Nishant Sinha. Attempting to redefine the chocolate indulgence experience in the capital city and make the finest baking chocolate, the couple launched Colocal featuring dark chocolate bars and baking chocolate with cacao beans sourced from Kerela. But it doesn’t stop there. The brand also has a chocolate factory in Chattrapur, which hosts tours to watch the chocolate-making process along with a warm, cosy cafe that serves a bunch of fun chocolate treats such as Ch0coclate & Tonic, brownie chocolate coffee shake, chocolate tarts and more.
Price: INR 250-320
6. Paul And Mike
Headquartered in Kochi, Paul And Mike is named after two Latin American fine cocoa farmers. While the label grows and ferments cocoa on their own farms in Kochi and Coimbatore, they also source wet cocoa beans from farmers in Kerala and Andhra and take care of the entire post-harvest operations. You can trust them for delivering quality products. From milk, dark, vegan, fruit-flavoured and alcohol-infused, you’ll be spoiled for choice when picking their chocolates.
Price: Starting from INR 250