Homegrown artisanal chocolate brands to try out this chocolate day

Schenelle Dsouza 
It’s no secret that bean-to-bar and artisanal chocolate brands are taking over the world. Handcrafted using the most exquisite ingredients, artisanal chocolates incorporate unique ingredients and flavours that stray away from the mundane sugary flavours associated with most types of chocolate. In India, homegrown chocolate brands and patisseries use flavours like Indian fruits, spices and aromatics along with nuts, dry fruits and other complementary flavours that provide a richer culinary experience. Take a look at some premium up-and-coming artisanal chocolate brands to try out on this Chocolate Day.
La Folie
La Folie
Photo Courtesy: La Folie
Helmed by Chef Sanjana Patel, La Folie was launched back in 2014 and is today considered one of the finest bean-to-bar chocolate brands in the country. The team at La Folie uses some of the finest, single-origin cacao sourced from regions such as Bolivia, Venezuela and Ecuador. Following a tailor-made bean-to-bar process, the beans are then handcrafted into small batches of chocolate at the brand’s micro-factory in Mumbai. Apart from chocolate, the brand is also known for its delectable pastries and desserts.
Must try: Sea Salt Caramel, Maple & Chunky Almond Butter, Smoked Pink Himalayan Salt, Intense Black Jaggery.
Mason & Co
Mason & Co
Photo Courtesy: Mason & Co
Mason & Co, founded by husband and wife duo Jane and Fabien Bontems, is touted to be the first indie bean-to-bar chocolate brand in India. The brand is based out of Auroville and uses organically sourced cocoa to make handcrafted chocolates that are vegan, gluten-free and soy-free. Their cacao comes directly from farmers across Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, who grow the beans organically which are then treated and processed in the most natural way possible to provide optimal flavour and texture to the chocolate bar.
Must try: Sourdough Sea Salt, Zesty Orange, Peppermint, Rosemary and Sea Salt.
Photo Courtesy: Naviluna
Naviluna is a bean-to-bar brand that only uses Indian cacao beans. The Mysore-made brand, formerly known as Earth Loaf offers some delectable Indian selections with flavours like chilli, capsicum and Himalayan fruit and more. Not forgetting the colourful packaging that is quite the eye grabber!
Must try: Mango, Red Capsicum and Chilli, Kerala Single Estate, Spiced Fig & Walnut, Himalayan Fruit and Nut, 72% Tokai Coffee & Pineapple.
Paul And Mike
Paul & Mike
Photo Courtesy: Paul And Mike
Another bean-to-bar brand based in Kochi, Kerala, Paul And Mike too has a unique selection of artisanal chocolates delivered in vibrant packaging. The brand sources its beans from farmers in Kerala and Andhra Pradesh while also growing their own beans on their own farms in Kochi and Coimbatore. Another green aspect of the brand is its promise of sustainability. Prioritising sustainability, Paul And Mike aspired to be a carbon-positive brand, with an aim to help remove CO2 from the environment by 2023.
Must try: Fine Milk Alphonso, Dark Milk Lavender, Amazonian Pink Pepper, Caramelised Sesame Chocolate.
Subko Cacao 
Subko Cacao 
Photo Courtesy: Subko Cacao
Subko, who was already making waves with its craft coffee beans, has made its grand entrance into the world of artisanal chocolate. The brand opened The Cacao Mill which is Mumbai’s first-ever chocolate factory where you can sample both coffee and chocolate while also engaging the bean-to-bar chocolate-making process. The options available include the classic milk, dark and white chocolate bars in addition to four filled experiments. These are artisanal takes on classics like Twix, Snickers, Bounty and Reese’s and are available in both bars and cubes with flavours like pista cherry, faux rocher, banana honey almond and apple tart.
Must try: The Big Cube Collection, The Filled Collection, Small Nibbles.
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