"My mama always says, life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get", the famous line from the 1994 film, Forrest Gump is a perfect metaphor of how we tend to take chocolates very seriously, even in our movies. If you think about it but...not too much (I don't want you drooling all over this blog), chocolate is a blessing to humanity, and I speak for everyone when I say, there is nothing a few pieces of chocolates can't fix. From a broken heart to a foul mood to boring milkshakes, chocolate makes everything better.
But what makes chocolate better? The answer will blow your mind.
It's true that India is not the major producer of chocolate but these stubborn chocoholics in the country working behind the best homegrown chocolate brands are making sure that you get the perfect artisanal blend of the finest cocoa, earthy flavours and textures that you will never forget. Lucky for you, these brands are easy on the pocket, hard to resist and on their feet to deliver the best at your doorstep. Ready to level up your chocolate game?
1. All Things
If chocolate hasn't spoiled you enough, this inspiration based homegrown chocolate brand founded Kuhu Kochar and Tejasvi Chandela will definitely spoil you for other chocolates. All Things have 18 unique flavours each inspired by life, nature, seasons, places and more. Don't be surprised if you stumble upon some of the weirdest chocolate combinations because that's who they are and with what I've heard they are the best. Wrapped in the attractive covers these chocolates are made from premium quality cocoa and handpicked ingredients from around the world. If you have a mood, they've got a chocolate bar for it. From your basic chocolate bars to powder, chunks and nibs they have an impressive menu you can choose from. With them, you can even go vegan.
Price: INR 330 onwards
Must try: All Things Earth (a combination of milk chocolate, ginger, sweet dates and earth's warmth) and All Things Summer (a unique blend of Malabar dark chocolate and Alphonso mango)
2. Harsh Chocolates
When I say a family-run workshop can invest more passion and zest to a food item than any big run-of-the-mill corporate, Harsh Chocolates is one such homegrown brand that means it. They have been turning cacao seeds into chocolates since 2001 and from what I could translate, it is not as easy they make it look. Result; unique and delicious varieties of chocolates for you to munch on. While they are known for their dark chocolates and almond rocks among the luxury chocolate aficionados, I personally find their special biscuit chocolates quite simple and inventive. And trust me, they go easy on bucks.
Price: INR 150 onwards
Must try: Special Chocolate Circuits and Hot Chocolate Sticks (Would be a perfect snack for your rainy day hot cup of joe)
3. Mason & Co.
Mason & Co. is an Auroville-based homegrown chocolate brand known to create artisanal chocolates from the single-origin cacao beans grown on the farms in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Sourced directly from the farmers these beans are used in the making of semi-sweet, bitter, sweet and dark chocolates that you have the option to choose from. What's more exciting is that these chocolate bars, chocolate drinks, spreads, nibs, butter and powders are handcrafted by an all-female workforce. With a simple minimal packaging, Mason & Co. made sure that they remain an environmentally conscious brand that everyone would be happy to buy from.
Price: INR 295 onwards
Must try: Peppermint & Sweet Nibs Dark Chocolate Bar and Espresso Dark Chocolate Bar
4. Naviluna Artisan Chocolate
From handcrafted chocolates to silkscreen prints on the cover by the artisans, all the luxurious goodness is delivered to your doorstep from the city of Mysore. Naviluna's secret; single-origin cacao from Varanashi farms in Karnataka and their organic and ethical standards of producing the treat that's hard to beat. Choose from various flavours such as raw dark chocolate, smoked salt, almond, apricots, etc. and pick any treat from Bon Bons to laddoos to truffles to cacao tea and more, the wide array of possibilities is what makes them special.
Price: INR 270 onwards
Must try: For now most of their produce is out of stock so I'd recommend you dig into their Monsoon Collection for off-beat flavours.
Looking for chocolates that taste amazing but don't add up to your love handles? Thank God for Chockriti because no other homegrown brand uses 100% cacao artisans to make chocolates. While Choc+Kriti literally means chocolate as a work of art, these people make chocolates with rare flavours that are hard to find in India. All their chocolate bars and truffles are a mixture of 55-100% cacao, dried real flowers, teas, herbs, spices and nuts that you'll definitely love. What's even healthier is that these chocolates have no added sugar, butter, vegetable oil, corn syrup, alcohol and other ingredients that are deemed harmful. With the health benefits of dark chocolate and therapeutic properties of all things natural, Chockriti's chocolates can easily become your next healthy snack. In addition to this, you can even get your order customized (includes; customized flavours, designs, labels, message cards, wedding logos, etc.).
Price: INR 270 onwards
Must try: The Basil Orange Pepper Bar
Image Courtesy: Faired.com
You bitter be living a sweet life after this!