There’s a small revolution brewing in the artisanal chocolate scene in India since the past few years. Some players are so small that it’ll be hard to track them down if not for lists like these. Which is to say that they spend all their time in making great chocolate and very little time getting the word out there. Not anymore. We’ve decided to turn the spotlight on the artisanal chocolate industry and give them the recognition they deserve. Here are the top brands making some of the most delicious and heavenly chocolate in India.
1 – Ether Chocolate
Chef Prateek Bakhtiani trained as a chef at various Michelin-starred restaurants across different countries before moving back to Mumbai in 2018 to set up Ether Chocolate. At Ether, Bakhtiani is the resient geek and creates a range of chocolate flavours using single origin chocolate from Peru to Madagascar to Indonesia.
2 – Mason and Co
Mason and Co, founded by Fabian Bontems and Jane Mason, was one of the first to introduce Indian cacao beans to the local audience. One of the true pioneers of the bean to bar concept with beans grown in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Auroville-based Mason and Co is the torchbearer of the artisanal Indian chocolate scene.
Formerly called Earthloaf, Naviluna is one of the first chocolate makers in the world to use organically certified Indian cacao beans. With unusual combinations such as spiced figs and walnut, mango chilli and capsicum along with single origin chocolate bars, Naviluna has some of the most exciting artisanal chocolates you can find in India today.
4 – Menakao
With five generations of Gujarat-based Cassam Chenai family living in Madagascar, Menakao is a chocolate brand with deep Indian roots. Its name literally translates to ‘red cocoa’. Using the best beans and ingredients along with the expertise that can only come from living in the region, Menakao’s artisanal chocolates are worth trying out.
5 – Hill Wild
In the sleepy Ukhrul district of Manipur, Leiyolan Vashum and Zeinorin Stephen quietly created an artisanal chocolate brand that is bursting with unique ingredients from the North East such as ghost chilli and black rice. If that hasn’t got you drooling already, we don’t know what will.
A small chocolate factory based out of Jaipur makes some of the most amazing flavour combinations that combined with superb packaging makes All Things Chocolate one of the most exciting prospects from the artisanal Indian chocolate scene.
7 – Vivanda
Vivanda calls itself a ‘chocolate gifting studio’ that is perfect when you want to treat yourself or someone special with customized chocolate bars, sugar free chocolates and assorted cakes. Simply call and choose the best chocolates available from their wide range.
8 – Pascati
Pascati is India’s first USDA organic and fair trade compliant chocolate brand. Moreover, Pascati makes its preference for making delicious dark chocolate well known. Artisanal chocolates from its Dark collection such as Mango Dark, Saffron Pistachio Dark and the incredible 90% Dark are creations that are hard to come by anywhere else.
Chocolatier-chef Sanjay Solomon’s Bean Therapy is one of the most exciting chocolate combinations on the market today using ingredients across the country, whether its chillies from Guntur, Kashmiri kahwa green tea and the Himalayan rock salt chocolate, to name just a few.
With more artisanal brands set to join the bandwagon soon as the country’s appetite for good chocolate continues to grow, these brands have set the bar high for themselves and others to follow. The result? Some of the most delicious and extraordinary chocolates in the world available to us on our doorstep. No wonder this is one #VocalForLocal campaign that has our full support.
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Priyanko Sarkar is the Founder Editor of Gurgl.in. He has been a writer for over 15 years and this site is his attempt to document India's growing beverage sector with impactful and interesting stories. His favourite drink is Vietnamese Coffee and his favourite spirit is Turkish Raki.