In a country like India, which is basically just one giant sweet tooth, it’s only to be expected that chocolates are on everyone’s wish lists when it comes to spoiling ourselves. But out of the mass of locally-produced chocolates available on the market, there are a few that stand head-and-shoulders above the rest. Using only the finest quality cacao and the best local ingredients, these independent chocolatiers take great pride in making chocolates to rival those from around the world. If you’re looking for artisanal chocolate, look no further than these chocolate innovators.
What’s the point of making chocolates in India if you aren’t going to make them Indian, right? That’s exactly how chocolatier Sanjay Solomon felt when he first started Bean Therapy. Taking inspiration from local Indian cuisines and flavours, the artisanal store sells 10 unique flavours – including such surprising hits as Guntur Chilli, Adrak Chiraunji and Saffron Kahwa – that will be sure to satisfy your chocolate cravings.
If the name isn’t enough of an indication, Chockriti takes its connection to the country very seriously. The Sanskrit ‘Kriti’ translates to ‘work of art’ in English and, true enough, their concoctions are just that. Employing the use of ‘fine chocolate’ which is made from the purest ingredients of cocoa liquor and cocoa butter, which are directly extracted from the cacao beans through a series of specific processes, their creations stand out from crowd.
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Armed with the desire to take chocolate out of its usual notions and make things more experimental, Kuhu Kochar and Tejasvi Chandela started their own artisanal brand of chocolates and named it All Things. The brand has been doing very well for itself and much of that is due to the fantastic taste of the chocolates made from premium cacao and handpicked ingredients from around the world, although the quirky design of the packaging probably doesn’t hurt its popularity either. But it’s their interesting collaborations like their most recent with Penguin India, wherein they replicate the book covers of some of their most popular books on the packaging and capture the essence of the story with an inventive new flavour, which really sets them apart and makes them the talk of the town.
Mason & Co
When Jane Mason first moved to Puducherry, she couldn’t satisfy her chocolate cravings as a vegan. It wasn’t until she met her future husband, Fabien Mason, that they began to explore the local cocoa industry together. Today, the husband-wife duo is famous across the country for their organic and vegan bean-to-bar chocolates, made from beans from Indian farmers who they with directly in their never-ending quest to boost the Indian cocoa industry.
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Fantasie Fine Chocolates
For a brand that’s 70-years-old, Fantasie Fine Chocolates may very well be one of Mumbai’s best-kept secrets. And it’s not just your basic chocolate on sale either, because the chocolatiers have innovated a wide range of chocolate-based products ranging from edible chocolate paint to delicious chocolate bottles that can be eaten whole! With stores across Worli, Bandra and Breach Candy, you won’t have to travel to far to sink your teeth into their chocolate creations.
Smitten Bakery & Patisserie
When Mandakini Gupta left her career in TV journalism to become a full-time baker, it would have been easy for others to call it a misstep. However, now that Smitten Bakery & Pattisserie is the toast of New Delhi, her passion seems to have paid off many times over. And while the rest of the bakery’s fare is delicious, it’s her artisanal Belgian chocolate bars that are to die for! Choose from any of the four inventive flavours on offer and let your taste buds thank you later.
Not to be left out of the mix, Mysore emerges as another hidden chocolate-lovers’ paradise by providing a home to another bean-to-bar chocolatier, Earth Loaf. Founded by David Belo and Angelika Anangnostou, who moved to India on their path to self-discovery, the small batch artisanal brand sources 95% of its organically certified ingredients from Indian farmers. And if you’re craving more than just chocolate, they even sell cacao teas and infusions along with some very unique cacao ladoos.
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